In addition to voting for this season’s candidates for office, Anna and Melissa voters heading for the polls will cast their votes in Anna’s $155 million school bond election and Melissa’s $150 million school bond election.

At its Feb. 8 school board meeting, the Anna Independent School District called for the bond election to address the need for new schools and to improve existing schools in order to manage continuing growth, according to the district. School Bond 2016, if passed, would not raise taxes with the Anna ISD tax rate remaining the same at $1.67 per $100 of property value.

During the fall semester of 2014, the district began strategic planning for the future of Anna ISD. Administration gathered students, parents, staff and community members to address a variety of topics. This was a year-long process that resulted in the development of the district’s strategic plan and a revised facility plan to align it with the current and projected demographic data.

The bond proposal includes two additional elementary schools, a second middle school, an expansion of the high school (adding additional classroom wings for a total capacity of 1,800 students) and additional renovations to upgrade district facilities.

In Melissa, the school district in October 2015 partnered with the Melissa community, forming a Community Task Force with a mission to review current district facilities, demographics and district financial information and develop a district vision for future facilities.

The task force, consisting of more than 80 members, including community members, educators and parents, provided feedback to the board of trustees on the future facility directions for the fast-growing district. In total, the task force, which was divided into 12 committees, met for more than 350 hours of planning, touring and discussion, and came to a recommendation for the school board to call for a $150 million bond election.

At its Feb. 15 school board meeting, the MISD Board of Trustees acted on the task force recommendation by calling for a bond election for $150 million for future district facilities, land, renovations and upgrades to existing facilities and new school buses. According to the district, if voters approve the bond package, the district tax rate of $1.67 would not change.