KUT had an article today about Proposition 9 that will be on the ballot in November. It’s some great info to help become educated about issues before the voters:
KUT News is taking a look at each of the several propositions to amend the city charter coming up on the November ballot. Today we examine Proposition 9, which would allow the city to lease park land to AISD.
Many undeveloped parks around the city are adjacent to schools, like Blunn Creek nature preserve, for example, which borders Travis High School in South Austin. As of now, if AISD wanted to build, say, tennis courts on the undeveloped land next to Travis High, they couldn’t do it.
That’s because restrictions in the city charter and in state law work together to prevent them from doing so. Though Austin voters can’t change Texas laws, they can amend the city charter.
“The Texas legislature has passed a provision in the state education code that prevents an ISD from spending money unless they have ownership of the land,” said Reyne Telles, spokesman for the city of Austin. “And we do have several park spaces that are designated park land but maybe aren’t developed as a full-out park, but our charter prevents us from giving property interest of park land to an independent school district.”
Proposition 9 would amend the city charter to allow the city to lease land to independent school districts, like Austin and Round Rock. Telles says the city doesn’t have any projects in mind, but if the proposition passes, it could open up new opportunities for park development.