The law provides that a school district must hold an election and get permission from voters to sell bonds and to levy taxes to pay for them. Bonds are sold to provide funding for capital improvements that last for a number of years. Such investments are often too large to be included in annual operating budgets. Just as an individual agrees to repay a new home loan, voters authorize the District to sell and repay bonds for making major capital improvements. School boards can only levy I&S taxes for debt in the amount necessary to repay the bonds. If the amount needed to pay the bonds is less, the district taxes less.
Funding for Texas’s public schools comes from three main sources: local property taxes, state funds, and federal funds. The majority of funding for Pampa ISD comes from state funding.
A school district’s property tax rate is comprised of a Maintenance and Operations (M&O) tax rate and an Interest & Sinking (I&S) tax rate. As its name suggests, the M&O tax rate provides funds for the daily operational costs of a school district. The I&S tax rate provides funds for payments on the voter approved debt that finances a district’s facilities. The total tax rate for Pampa ISD is 1.2133.
The M&O tax rate is $0.9741 and funds the general operations of the District. This part of the tax rate pays for employee salaries, utilities, supplies, gasoline, etc. School districts are a people-intensive business and most of these funds go to personnel costs.
The I&S tax rate is 0.2392 and is often called the debt service tax rate. Funds generated from this tax rate go toward paying off the debt generated by the issuance of school bonds. This is similar to the part of a household budget that pays for the home mortgage. School bonds are issued as funds are needed for approved school projects and are generally not issued all at once. Most school bonds are issued or paid for over 30 years. However, the repayment period for short term assets, such as technology items, are paid off much more quickly.
The State Property Tax Code allows for school property taxes on an individual homestead to be “frozen” at the age of 65. If you are 65 years of age or older and you have filed for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption”, there is a ceiling on the amount of school taxes to be paid. The only exception is if improvements are made to a home. As such, a tax increase from a new bond program cannot increase the applicable tax ceiling of a taxpayer that has qualified for the “Over 65 Homestead Exemption” unless improvements are made to the home.
This decision is based on carefully considering all areas of need around our district. Aging facilities, programs that are being taught in spaces that are too small and lack the resources to meet the needs of the program, classrooms that do not meet recommended standards, and safety and security concerns are all contributing factors in the need to pursue a bond.
Pampa ISD’s mission is “to produce learners who are compassionate, competent, confident, and future-ready.”
In January 2021, PISD launched a strategic planning initiative. Over 150 stakeholders contributed to the development of this new 5-year strategic plan over the course of six months. The Board of Trustees adopted this plan.
361 people / 107 meetings / 481 hours
Utilizing parent and community involvement, Pampa ISD developed a comprehensive master facility plan for the district.
The 31-month process was transparent. A Strategic Plan webpage was established to share information with the public, and all of their work and research is posted there.
Facility Design/Decisions Committee:
Over 150 people participated in meetings with District administrators.
Committee members included community leaders, business owners, students, parents, and staff.
There were five committees focused on grade-level school realignment and a separate committee focused on facilities.
A 100+ member Facilities Design/Decisions Committee met multiple times to review and discuss potential bond projects. The Committee consisted of parents, students, community members, district staff, senior citizens, and business/community leaders.
This group reviewed facility assessments, received long-range facility needs and proposals from experienced school architects, and toured campuses. The committee prioritized projects and the work into one proposal submitted to PISD Trustees on February 13, 2023. After careful review and deliberation, Trustees voted to approve a bond proposal for $130 million.
Proposition A is for $62 million and would include the following:
Safety and Security
New Career and Technology Addition
New Elementary School for Grades 2-5 located at Travis
Proposition B is for $68 million for future projects and would include the following:
New Fine Arts Classroom Addition at PHS that would connect the original facility to the new CTE facility.
New Athletics Classroom Facility
Renovations and Upgrades to additional district elementary campuses and other district facilities
The Facility Design/Decisions committee created a proposed priority list of projects based on careful review of facility assessment reports, tours, and industry professionals. A new CTE facility and a new 2nd-5th grade campus are the proposed priority. They would occur first with the passage of Proposition A and would be able to be constructed after building designs are completed. Items in Proposition B are future construction projects that are currently planned to be constructed when the tax base of Pampa grows with the addition of new companies coming to town.
Borger ISD, Dumas ISD, Canyon ISD, and Miami ISD
Election Day is May 6, 2023
Election Day voting will be held at:
MK Brown Auditorium
1000 N. Sumner
Pampa, TX 79065
Early voting will be held at:
Pampa ISD Administration Building
1233 N. Hobart
April 24, 2023 through April 28, 2023 - 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
April 29, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
May 1, 2023 through May 2, 2023 - 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Technology, safety and security, and many of our CTE programs were not a consideration when our current facilities were built.
The maintenance and facility capital needs will be paid for out of the Maintenance and Operations budget, which means there could be less available funds for staff & teachers' salaries, programs, utilities and facility operation, transportation, etc.
The passing or failing of Proposition A or Proposition B will not eliminate jobs in the District.
There are two important factors to be considered when determining staffing in Pampa ISD. First, the Pampa ISD Board of Trustees and Superintendent have adopted the TASB(Texas Association of School Boards) model for district staffing. TASB provides a recommended staffing model for all categories(administration, professional, paraprofessional, and auxiliary employees) based on enrollment and ADA(average daily attendance). We have provided two images that show PISD staffing and the TASB model over several years.
FTE-Full Time Employee
Pampa ISD experienced an increase in staffing during and following the Covid-19 pandemic. This was due to funds provided by the federal government through a program called ESSER(Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund). ESSER provided districts with additional funds to hire personnel, on a temporary basis, to assist in closing educational gaps due to Covid. ESSER funds will be phased out by the federal government in 2023-2024.
Second, salaries for personnel are generated through PISD’s Maintenance and Operations fund (M&O). Maintenance to PISD’s aging buildings is also funded through the M&O fund. With increased repair costs throughout the district, the Maintenance and Operations fund is limited in its ability to use funds to stay competitive with student programs and professional/paraprofessional salaries.
The I&S funds(Interest and Sinking),generated by selling bonds, could provide the funds needed to renovate and build new facilities without depleting M&O funds. This could make more funds available in M&O for student programs and competitive professional/paraprofessional salaries.