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MORE FACTS About the Proposed Pearland ISD Bond

Pearland ISD has six previous bonds dating back to 1996 and nearly $300 million from those bonds remain unpaid. Notice in the following chart how drastically out of step this latest bond is.

If voters mistakenly approve this new $220M bond, Pearland ISD will be over a half billion dollars in debt. How does that compare to the rest of Texas?

Take a look at this before-and-after picture. Using data from the Texas Comptroller's office, there are 105 school districts with 10,000 or more students. Pearland has about 20,000 students.

Today, Pearland is in the middle of the pack for debt-per-student.

If voters unfortunately pass this new bond, Pearland moves to the bottom of the pack - only seven other districts will have more debt-per-student.

How is that responsible?

Debt is out of control and not in synch with population growth in Texas. According to an article in the Texas Tribune, initially titled "Local Debt Soaring Across Texas"

Across Texas cities, tax-supported debt has grown 78 percent since 2004, while the population grew by just 18 percent. It's a similar story with the state's counties, with tax-supported debt held by counties growing by 58 percent since 2004.

The growth in debt is most pronounced for the state's school districts. Between 2004 and 2013, the student population at Texas public school districts has grown 14 percent. During the same period, voter-approved tax debt for school districts has grown 97 percent, from $32.6 billion to $64.2 billion.

We love Pearland. Burying our children in this beautiful city beneath an irresponsible burden of debt is bad policy. The bond should be reworked and resubmitted with more appropriate and reasonable numbers.

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