NISD rejects state school construction report

June 30, 2014

Northside ISD rejects a recently published Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts report that incorrectly concludes there is wasteful spending in school construction by unfairly comparing school construction costs in different parts of Texas. 

Because Northside is one of the largest and fastest growing school districts in Texas and builds and opens schools every year, the District is mentioned in the comptroller’s “Your Money and Education Debt” report.

“Comptroller Susan Combs does a disservice to Texans,” says Superintendent Dr. Brian Woods. “There is no logical way that you can compare the costs of building schools across regions of Texas; and for her to conclude wasteful spending on those schools that cost more than an artificial average based on inconsistent data is an insult.”

The Fast Growth School Coalition, of which Northside is a member, released its rebuke to the comptroller entitled, “Texas Schools Aren’t Average.” The report provides a more accurate portrayal of cost differences in building schools based on regional differences, such as climate and soil type, construction considerations, such as local government building codes and foundation types, and local community expectations. The full report can be found at www.fastgrowthtexas.org

The differences in per square foot costs for schools can be explained by the vastness of Texas which has 10 climate regions and 1,300 types of soil that make up 21 major land resource areas. Climate and soil conditions are significant to a construction project as are available human resources (workers).

The Fast Growth School Coalition represents about 100 school districts who educate about 80 percent of all students in Texas. Northside ISD is the fourth largest public school system in Texas with more than 101,000 students. NISD grows by around 2,000 to 2,500 students each year.