$52M Bond election set for Nov. 2 – No School Property Tax Increase

Art student

Southside ISD voters will decide the outcome of a $52 million bond. The bond is intended to ensure that Southside Independent School District students have everything they need to be successful. The bond will not raise school property taxes. That is good news to parent Brenda Barajas who is also the Freedom Elementary School counselor. “As a taxpayer, I think this is great. This will help a lot of people and community members,” she said. Barajas and her husband own a home in the Mission del Lago subdivision.

Superintendent Mr. Rolando Ramirez, who is also a homeowner in the District, said the bond funds would be used to renovate all campuses and departments. Every aspect in the schools from air conditioning and heating systems, furniture, restrooms, generators, hallways, walkways, cafeterias, and classrooms is being examined. Much of the equipment and facilities Southside ISD students will be looked over. Ramirez, who has a history of turning around low-performing schools into highly successful campuses said the students’ environment is tied directly to academic achievement.

“Learning doesn’t just take place in the classroom. The hallways, the library, the cafeteria are all extensions of the classroom. It has to be a place that’s appealing to our students. A nice environment changes the mindset of students,” said Superintendent Ramirez. He added, “The fact that we’re looking at everything that’s around the classroom and making sure it’s in good condition assists us in helping our students succeed.”

Parent Marie Smith is one of 40 community members who were part of the bond committee. The group toured various campuses. The old equipment still being used convinced Smith of the need to help Southside’s students. “The one thing that hit me the hardest was the high school kitchen. I’ve seen daycares with better kitchens than that. The freezer and refrigerators are small. Overall, the kids need to have something nice. Everything is just really outdated,” Smith said.

Voters will decide on the $52 million bond on Tuesday, November 2.