- Donna ISD
From Start to Finish: A Successful Bond Election
All eyes were on Donna ISD at this year’s annual Texas Association of School Board’s (TASB) Summer Leadership Institute held in San Antonio June 21st-24th. DISD’s Board of Trustees, along with Superintendent Dr. Angela Dominguez and her administrative team shared their knowledge and expertise in running a successful 2023 School Bond Election marketing campaign to a room of district school board members and leaders from across the state.
“It gave the Board great pleasure to share pertinent information about our successful bond election campaign to our peers,” School Board President Jose Valdez said. “We attribute this accomplishment to transparency, open communication and making detailed information available to our community. We hope we have been helpful to other districts and that they see the same success with their initiatives as we have had with ours.”
It was 14 years ago that residents of the City of Donna last approved a school bond proposal. Its passage led to the construction of the district’s newest campus, Donna North High School. In just a few short years, the school eventually outgrew its student capacity, which resulted in the purchase of eight portable buildings positioned outside the high school to accommodate the increase in enrollment. In time, other campuses found themselves in need of additional space along with school facility maintenance, repairs and construction projects.
With that monumental and costly task in front of them, the Board of Trustees and Superintendent Dominguez made the bold decision to seek the community’s support in backing a $120 million dollar bond proposition to help address the district’s needs. While push back was expected due to a minimal tax rate increase being tied to the bond, the trustees agreed to move forward and during a February 14th board meeting unanimously voted in favor of a May 6th bond election.
In less than three months, a comprehensive, well organized bond election campaign was launched. It included an all-inclusive English and Spanish website detailing the variety of projects the bond would fund across the district and a calculator that allowed voters to input their property value information and learn approximately how much more a year they would pay in taxes. Some homeowners would not be impacted at all. Also included on the website were videos highlighting improvements at each individual campus and their cost breakdowns. In addition, Donna ISD held numerous sessions districtwide to inform employees and community functions to educate the public. These efforts ultimately paid off with the passing of the bond referendum.
Dr. Dominguez was quick to thank the community. “The Donna ISD Board of Trustees and Administration are appreciative of the voters in Donna for putting the needs of our students and schools first,” Dr. Dominguez said. “The community support for the $120 million dollar bond to invest in our school facilities will allow us to update buildings, add needed wings, and provide innovative learning spaces for our children for years to come. The Administration and Trustees will continue to be vigilant stewards of The District.”
Many school districts considering bond proposals watched closely as the Donna ISD school bond election played out. The bond garnered so much statewide attention that it was selected as an education session at this year’s TASB Summer Leadership Institute.
“We’re proud to have been part of such an important initiative,” Dr. Dominguez said. “As educators, we always want what’s best for our students and we’re thankful that our community supported this bond election ensuring that our student’s needs are taken care of today and in the future.”