News in Brief
Houston, Charlotte OK Bonds to Build Schools
Voters in Houston narrowly approved an $805 million bond issue last week that will pay for building 24 new schools, renovating 134 others, and upgrading safety and security in all schools.
Some residents had complained of feeling left out of decisions about the bond issue, and Superintendent Abelardo Saavedra pledged to create a standing community-engagement committee to make sure officials of the 200,000-student district listen to the public. The bond issue, the third in a series that started in 1998, was approved by 51 percent of those voting.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school district also won approval on Nov. 6 for a bond referendum. The $516 million measure, endorsed by two-thirds of those voting, will pay for 40 projects, including 12 new schools. The bond issue was the largest approved in the district in the past decade.
The 135,000-student district, which serves the city of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, is gaining about 4,500 new students each year. It estimates its current construction needs at $1.4 billion.
But in Cincinnati, voters rejected a five-year, $326.5 million property-tax levy. The school board was considering putting the matter before voters in the 35,000-student district again this coming March.
Vol. 27, Issue 12, Page 4