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Project Kids Recommends Bond Proposal to Board of Trustees

Representatives from Project Kids, the nearly 80-member citizen committee, presented a bond proposal recommendation to the Allen ISD Board of Trustees on July 27. The committee, which was tasked with assessing and prioritizing Allen ISD’s current and long-term facility and capital project needs, presented a total proposal of $222 million. The proposal includes maintenance improvements, campus renovations, technology devices for students and staff, safety and security improvements, and new school buses. A full list of projects recommended by Project Kids is available on the AISD website.

Following the recommendation from Project Kids, the Board of Trustees will consider the proposal for a potential bond election. To place the bond proposal on the Nov. 3, 2020, general election ballot, the Board must officially call for an election by Aug. 17.

The Project Kids recommendation was presented by committee members Bob Acker and Theresa Ginsburg. Project Kids was originally scheduled to meet in March 2020, but the process was delayed due to COVID-19. The committee began meeting virtually on May 12, culminating with a sixth and final meeting on June 23. The committee was led by an independent facilitator, Dr. Lizzie Asbury of TransCend4, to guide the group members through an open process that included community voice and committee input.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to extend our appreciation to the Project Kids committee members for their dedicated work throughout the summer to create this proposal,” said Amy Gnadt, AISD Board of Trustees President. “It is evident how much thought and consideration were placed into each project and how they fit into the overall long-term vision of this school district.”

Project Kids’ membership included a cross-section of the Allen community and included parents, grandparents, parents with children who have already graduated from high school, individuals without children, teachers, and Allen High School students. Committee members included both those who voted for and against the $422 million bond election that was rejected by voters in May 2019.

During the committee process, members heard from district staff and third-party experts with long-standing knowledge of AISD, such as the district’s financial advisor and the district’s demographer. Following each presentation, the committee met in small groups of approximately 10 members to discuss the information and create questions for staff.

A two-step consensus model was used to determine which items were placed on the final proposal that Project Kids presented to the Board. First, each small group voted on individual projects, and a two-thirds consensus was necessary to move each project forward. Next, a two-thirds consensus was necessary from all of the small groups before a project was added to the final proposal.

“As a school district, we knew the importance of having a large group of community members with a diverse set of viewpoints to help drive this process,” said Robin Bullock, Allen ISD Superintendent. “Following the unsuccessful 2019 bond election, we took a step back, engage with our community, and listened to the feedback. I am grateful for this committee and its willingness to take a deep dive to help prioritize the needs of our schools.”

Please visit the Project Kids webpage to learn more about the committee’s process, including meeting agendas and presentations.