We vote YES!

Join us in showing community support for the OISD 2024 Bond to add multi-purpose tornado shelters at Olney ISD.

We are a PAC of Olney citizens created to support the OISD 2024 bond for tornado shelters, storm-safe corridors, and more classroom space. Using our website and social media, we hope to help the school district by answering questions and getting everyone the information they need!


7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on May 4, 2024
Early voting : April 22, 2024 through April 30, 2024 at the Olney Community Library and Arts Center.

a person is casting a vote into a box
a person is casting a vote into a box

VOTE

BOND INFO - IMAGES & MAPS

OJH

OHS

Our Goals

Solve for Safety Vulnerabilities
Provide learning space tailored to
Olney student needs
Provide information and inspire
a vote of "YES" for the bond
grey metal chain on white background
grey metal chain on white background
2 women sitting on wooden dock during daytime
2 women sitting on wooden dock during daytime
person holding white and red box
person holding white and red box

The OISD 2024 Bond election is a crucial step towards ensuring the safety and well-being of our children. We fully support the Olney ISD 2024 Bond!

As citizens of Olney, we believe that investing in our school facilities is investing in our community's future. There is little more important than keeping our students as safe as possible, because they are our future.

The OISD 2024 Bond will provide our students with the resources they need to excel academically and grow as individuals. The district has gone above and beyond to plan a package that uses as little tax money as possible to meet student and staff needs.

SAFETY Q&A

We have gone this long without storm shelters at the OHS and OJH – why do we need shelters now?

The rapidly-forming tornado in Jacksboro (and more recently in Perryton) revealed that our current storm plan is not adequate. A 2022 safety study showed storm safety to be our top vulnerability. Currently, OHS and OJH students must walk across an outdoor area in inclement weather to reach shelter. In the event of heavy rain or hail, students moving in large numbers between buildings means more exposure to the elements and more time without shelter. Some students and staff have mobility limitations that make the trek even more challenging. This project would provide in-building storm shelters to keep everyone safe indoors.


Why didn’t we add storm shelters during recent renovations at OJH and OHS?

In the past, we believed our storm safety plan was adequate. Recent events listed above opened our eyes to this need.

Where do OHS and OJH students currently go for storm sheltering?

OHS and OJH students and staff all walk across the lawn to the gym to shelter under the bleachers. The distance from the junior high is approximately 240 ft.

Will all students and staff now have access to storm shelters?

This project will mean OHS, OJH, and OES, as well as the daycare, will have quick, safe access to shelters.



What sort of storm shelters will be added?

At OJH, our ICF above-ground shelter will serve multiple functions. The area will be used for classes, including a self-contained classroom for our special education students. Due to developments in our student population and evolving state laws, we have a new need for this additional classroom space, so we will see a greater value for our dollars by creating a multi-purpose space that fulfills district needs and reduces waste.

At OHS, we will build a storm-safe corridor that will provide adequate space for our high school student/staff population to shelter in the event of a storm. The corridor will connect the CATE (Career and Technical Education) and OHS buildings so that students in the CATE building will have shelter access and safe passage from CATE to OHS.


How does this project increase student safety?

In addition to protecting students from storms, our new OJH safe-passage corridor will allow OJH/Intermediate students to access the cafeteria without leaving our secured buildings. Likewise, CATE students will also be able to walk to OHS classrooms without exiting our secured buildings. In addition, the safe vestibule at the daycare will help protect our little ones and their caregivers.

We will also add dedicated on-campus space to support our School Resource Officer (SRO).


What does the daycare renovation include?

The daycare already has a storm shelter outside, but children and caregivers must walk through the yard in inclement weather to reach the shelter. The daycare renovation will provide a covered and enclosed walkway to the storm shelter. The renovation will also provide a mandatory, secure vestibule entrance to the daycare for added safety for children and staff. The daycare yard/fence and other needed facility updates will also be included.


A portion of this information was taken from public info posted on olneyisd.net.

EDUCATION FACILITY Q&A

What is meant by an “Intermediate Wing” at OJH?

The new storm-safe wing at OJH will provide new classroom space for the 5th and 6th grades students. We believe creating a separate space for 5th and 6th graders in this new wing will help ease their transition from elementary school to 7th and 8th grades, which are located in a separate part of the OJH building.

At the end of the new OJH wing nearest the elementary school, there will be a storm-safe corridor connecting the OJH and OES buildings. The new corridor will extend the existing OES hallway that goes by the cafeteria and elementary gym. The transition out of elementary school will now be just a trip down the (new) hall, and their daily trips to lunch will be in a secure, enclosed hallway.



Is 5th Grade becoming part of the Junior High?

No. Fifth grade will remain part of Olney Elementary, and staff and students will be administered by the OES campus administration. Fifth grade will simply be relocating down the new hallway to a brand new classroom area attached to OJH and OES.

Will 6th grade be administered by OJH or OES?

Sixth grade will stay under the OJH administration. The wing will connect 5th and 6th grade physically in the same space, but they will remain administered as they are now – 5th is OES and 6th is OJH.

Will my PK-4th elementary school student now be around OJH students?

No. The Intermediate Wing will be off the rear hallway at the back of the school where the gym, cafeteria, and art rooms are located, and the hallway will separate the Intermediate Wing from the bulk of the elementary school building.


What is meant by dedicated space for “Pre-K for all?”

In 2021, Olney ISD began allowing all Olney preschool-aged students (not just the ones who qualify for state funds) to attend Pre-K at OES. This is an intentional investment the district makes to give our students the best start we can while also meeting the needs of working parents. Because this change made our Pre-K grow in size, we have been squeezing in Pre-K classrooms wherever we can. This project will free up space so all of our Pre-K classrooms can have their own designated space from year to year without crowding out other important classroom needs.


How will the bond affect special education students?

The bond includes funding to build a dedicated self-contained classroom that will address state requirements for enrichment and intervention. A self-contained classroom is a classroom within the school where a special education teacher is responsible for the instruction of all academic subjects.

What is a self-contained classroom?

This project will both create a new self-contained classroom at OJH and free one back up for use at OES. A self-contained classroom is used primarily for special education. It is designed to provide a focused and supportive learning environment to meet individual needs. It is “self-contained” in the sense that it has all required resources in one room where the students can receive the individual attention and specialized instruction that they need to be successful.


What does the elementary renovation include?

The elementary renovation adds dedicated office space for the OES counselor in the front office as well as space for our district SRO. A smaller front desk area will be placed against the west wall. It also allows for where the counselor is currently housed to become dedicated intervention space.


A portion of this information was taken from public info posted on olneyisd.net

BOND/TAX Q&A

This info taken directly from public information posted on olneyisd.net
What is a bond?

A bond, like a home mortgage, is a contract to repay borrowed money with interest over time. A school district sells bonds to competing lenders to raise funds to pay for the costs of construction, renovations and equipment. School districts in Texas utilize bonds to finance renovations and new facilities.

What is a bond election?

School districts are required by state law to ask voters through a bond election for permission to sell bonds. If the bond passes, the voters are giving permission for the school district to take out a loan and pay that loan back over an extended period.

How can bond funds be used?

Bond funds can be used to pay for new school facility construction, additions and renovations to existing facilities, land acquisition, technology infrastructure and equipment. By state law, bonds cannot be used for teacher salaries or operating costs such as utility bills, supplies, building maintenance, fuel or insurance.

Exactly how much is the proposed bond package?

The Olney ISD Board of Trustees called a bond election in the amount of $8.35 million with no tax rate increase.

How was the bond package developed?

The need for this bond package was highlighted by the major tornado that hit Jacksboro ISD Elementary School and Jacksboro High School during regular school hours in the Spring of 2023 . The schools were severely damaged while hundreds of students, faculty, and parents were being safely sheltered in the interior hallways.

In the Fall of 2022, An Independent Safety Study was conducted, and a district campus safety committee prioritized the findings which indicated that storm sheltering was a top priority from the study.

Planning began for Olney High School (OHS) & Olney Junior High (OJH) storm sheltering additions in the Summer of 2023 and was prioritized by the Olney Board of Trustees in the Winter of 2023.

When would the district get started on the projects?

The proposed projects would start design as soon as possible to mitigate the effects of inflation and project escalation.

Will the bond impact teacher or paraprofessional pay?

By law, bond funds cannot be used for staff salaries and day-to-day expenses by law. Olney ISD recently raised salaries to be effective in the 2024-2025 school year, but this bond will not affect those.

When will bond projects be completed?

If passed, construction is expected to be complete by the Summer of 2026.

How will the proposed bond election affect my taxes?

The Olney ISD I&S (debt service) tax rate used to pay for bonds is currently $0.19 per $100 in appraised value and is expected to remain at $0.19 even as bonds are issued to pay for projects proposed in the 2024 bond whether or not the bond is passed.

What is the difference between the M&O and I&S tax rates?

Taxpayers pay a combined tax rate to Olney ISD, which supports two different funds.

The Maintenance & Operations (M&O) tax rate funds the District's general operations. This is like the part of a household budget that pays for utilities, food, clothing and gasoline. Since schools are a people-intensive business, about 75% of these funds go to salary and personnel costs.

The Interest & Sinking tax rate (I&S) funds the debt generated by the issuance of school bonds. This is like the part of a household budget that pays for the home mortgage, the car loan or any other large expenditure. Olney ISD must seek the approval of voters to authorize the issuance of bonds.

How can our tax rate not increase with the passage of a bond?

Olney ISD has been paying down debt sooner than required through strategic management. The Olney ISD Board of Trustees has authorized refunding and paying off callable debt sooner than scheduled, which has resulted in additional debt service capacity. That capacity, and the growth of Taxable Assessed Values, allows the bonds to be repaid at the current I&S rate of $0.19 per $100 of appraised value.

 What would the I&S (debt service) tax rate be if the bond does not pass?

The I&S (debt service) tax rate is set by the Olney ISD Board of Trustees and is expected to remain the same following the bond election.

Why does the ballot say, "THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE" if the tax rate will not increase?

Due to state law, you will see “THIS IS A PROPERTY TAX INCREASE” on your ballot. This is the standard language required on all school bonds, meaning taxes must be levied to repay the bonds.

 The Olney ISD tax rate will not increase as a result of this bond election. Olney ISD can make all existing and new bond payments with the $0.19 I&S tax rate residents are currently paying. 

What if I'm over 65 and receive the "senior citizen exemption" and my home value goes up? Will my school taxes increase?

No. According to state law, the dollar amount of school taxes imposed on the residence homestead of a person 65 years of age or older cannot be increased above the amount paid in the first year after the person turned 65 – regardless of changes in tax rate or property value – unless significant improvements are made to the home. Normal repairs, maintenance and the economic impact of the market cannot increase the amount of taxes you will pay once a tax ceiling is in place on that homestead.

Where can I learn more about Olney ISD's financial information?

Olney ISD is committed to financial transparency and accountability and legal compliance. You can find more information under required posting at https://www.olneyisd.net.

Why is construction so expensive?

State laws and construction codes for school facilities require extra hurdles, and these building specifications result in more expense than private construction. Since most of the new exterior walls must be able to withstand hurricane-force winds and tornadoes, specialized materials must be used. OISD will focus the scope of this project to the minimum expense necessary to meet statutory construction requirements while keeping the tax rate the same.


When and where can I vote?

The Election will be held in the District between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on May 4, 2024.


Early voting by personal appearance shall begin on April 22, 2024 and conclude on April 30, 2024, at the Olney Community Library and Arts Center.



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