Leaders of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce publicly affirmed their “full support” for the Austin school district’s $892 million bond package on Tuesday, after a messy clash at Monday night’s school board meeting.
Two trustees accused the chamber of blackmail because the chamber wouldn’t support the bond issue unless the district adopted a firm deadline for a plan to address the problem of underenrolled schools. The majority of the trustees at first softened the deadline, but the chamber’s education leadership quickly withdrew its support, prompting trustees to call a second vote and agree to the June 2014 deadline.
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The bond package will be broken into four propositions:
• $140.6 million for health, environment, equipment and technology.
• $233.9 million for safety, security and relief from overcrowded schools.
• $349.2 million for academic and building infrastructure renovations and repairs.
• $168.6 million for academic initiatives, fine arts and athletics.
If voters approve the package May 11, the owner of an average-value home, currently $244,534 after exemptions, would pay $3,123 in school taxes, an increase of about $86 annually.