Historical Review of the
Lovejoy/Allen Consolidation Election
& Bond Election
Spring 2003

A survey completed by Lovejoy in year 2000 showed that the community was not interested in building secondary schools because of concerns of higher tax rates.
The tax rate was a pivotal issue for many residents.

The Lovejoy board planned on calling for a bond election (to fund building a high school) without providing any verifiable operations costs or curriculum information to the community. They formed the "Committee of 40" to recommend whether to call the bond election or a consolidation election.

If the bond election was first, it would probably have passed and the board would have escaped any financial oversight.

When concerned citizens realized that this was the plan, they started collecting the necessary signatures required for a county judge to call for a consolidation election.

After being FORCED to call for a consolidation election, the school board began holding meetings in private homes in the district stating that the proposed tax rate was $1.60. This was a 30-cent reduction in the tax rate quoted in a previous letter provided to the community BEFORE the consolidation election was FORCED.

Before consolidation election petition

September - November 2002 Tax Rate - $1.90
Lovejoy letter from School Board President Rich Hickman: (PDF file saved from official Lovejoy web site.)
If Lovejoy ISD separates from Allen ISD, Lovejoy ISD taxpayers can expect increased tax rates to pay for needed secondary facilities and increased operating costs. The Lovejoy ISD expected tax rate would also be in the $1.90’s, very similar to the rate if the districts consolidate.

Lovejoy had provided no verifiable financial or curriculum information to community at the time this letter was sent. The Lovejoy School Board was planning on calling a bond election at this time.

The presentations in the October Allen/Lovejoy meetings primarily focused on the costs of consolidation versus Lovejoy building its own secondary system. The costs were pretty much equal showing a slight advantage of $ per child for Lovejoy to build, but this would be offset by the loss of economies of scale available through consolidation of districts.

Lovejoy administration sold the community on voting to build with promises of $1.60 tax rate, REGULAR plus pre-AP & AP classes, the advantages of small schools, while steadfastly refusing to show how they could afford to operate secondary schools. (Lovejoy High School opened without a line-item budget) The Committee for Lovejoy schools a Political Action Committee, (two are now on the Lovejoy school board, one is the curriculum director) sold the public on the same issues, plus small class sizes.

As predicted by some residents, who formed a PAC (CUE) to warn Lovejoy residents, none of the above promises have been kept. None of the CUE members worked for Lovejoy or owned land surrounding the new high school, or sold land to the school, or had contracts with Lovejoy, or in ANY WAY profited from the school.

The Lovejoy school board and administration provided the community with the following information:

Lovejoy Presentation to the community, Oct 2002

Secondary Curriculum for new secondary schools, Oct 2002

Missing information requested by concerned community members included:

  • Pro forma secondary operating budget (still not available - less than one year before high school opens)
  • Curriculum provided by that budget (still not available - less than one year before high school opens)
  • Signs to mark high school and middle school sites in Lucas (Lovejoy refused to place signs until after successful bond election)
  • Traffic and safety studies (never completed)
  • Infrastructure and service impact evaluation (roads, sewer, police, fire protection)
  • A comparison of what Allen ISD had to offer secondary students versus Lovejoy ISD

The Lovejoy board planned to call for a bond election first, February 2002. If the bond election failed, they would consider calling a consolidation election in May, 2002.

Allen ISD had told Lovejoy that if they did not call for a consolidation election by February 1st, 2003 that consolidation would no longer be an option.

"But prolonging the decision, Allen school board members say, would hinder Allen's ability to plan for building the high school space it would need to accommodate the Lovejoy students.
"If they decide in December to call a bond election, they need to know that we'll wish them well," said school board member Kevin Kerr. "But consolidation is over."
Allen school officials said during a meeting Monday night that it would not be fair to provide a safety net for the Lovejoy district at their expense. "

10/30/2002 CONNIE PILOTO / The Dallas Morning News

Committee of 40

The Lovejoy administration and school board hand-picked a "Committee of 40" whose task it was to recommend to the board whether Lovejoy should build secondary schools or consolidate with AllenISD.
The published decision process to consolidate or build included a "Committee of 100", but not the "Committee of 40".
Allen ISD and the Lovejoy community had not been apprised of this "additional" step until after the decision was made.

When taxpayers asked for a list of who was selected, Lovejoy superintendent, Carol Ray asked the Lovejoy attorney if the law required her to give taxpayers that information. The attorney stated that taxpayers had the right to see the list.

DMN quote from Lovejoy superintendent, Carol Ray:
[A community member] "says she believes Lovejoy district officials want to separate and provide secondary education.
District officials say they have not made a decision and are awaiting the recommendations of a group of 40 residents who are studying the move. That group is expected to make a recommendation to the school board next week.

"We're waiting to see what our group
[Committee of 40] recommends," said Lovejoy Superintendent Carol Ray. "It's the democratic way ... to vote on it."

If district officials decide against consolidating, the district could call for a bond election to finance construction of new secondary schools during the Feb. 1 vote. "

11/06/2002 CONNIE PILOTO / The Dallas Morning News

The Lovejoy "Committee of 40" makeup was:

  • 2 - people outspoken for consolidating LISD & AISD.
    They were not selected by Lovejoy to be on the "Committee of 40", they had to request to be included. Others who were known to favor consolidation also requested to be included, but were not selected.

  • 8 - unknown preference
  • 5 - Lovejoy ISD employees

  • 1 - previously employed by Lovejoy who has since been re-employed by Lovejoy

  • 1 - employed by Lovejoy administration to be Consolidation Election judge who sent a postcard to Lovejoy residents before the election stating her preference for building.

  • 10 - people who signed a flyer stating they were against consolidating LISD & AISD, two now on the school board

  • 11 - people publicity outspoken against consolidating LISD & AISD including:

    Three relatives (son, daughter and daughter's mother-in-law) of the landowner who sold Lovejoy the land for the high school site and owns 150 acres across the street.

    Not surprisingly, the Committee of 40 final vote:
    33 against consolidating with Allen ISD -
    5 for

    Lovejoy superintendent, Carol Ray, responds in Dallas Morning News to claim that the Committee of 40 was stacked :

    ..[community member] "said the committee was stacked with folks in favor of expanding and building new schools. Ms. Ray [Lovejoy ISD superintendent] denies the allegations but concedes that three members of a family with pro-expansion views were selected. "I didn't know," Ms. Ray said. "They didn't have the same addresses."
    11/17/2002 CONNIE PILOTO / The Dallas Morning News

Delphi Technique was utilized on the Committee of 40.

Lovejoy board forced to call for consolidation election

Tax Rate promised drops from $1.90 to $1.60

Dec 6th, 2002 Tax Rate
Lovejoy letter from School Board President Rich Hickman.(PDF file saved from official Lovejoy web site.) "The current tax rate for Lovejoy ISD is $1.60. Current studies indicate that the tax rate is expected to begin climbing in the 2004-2005 school year.."

Additional tax rate information from
Elena Westbrook, Lovejoy Board Trustee (May 2003) and Lovejoy/Allen Consolidation Election judge:

From the Lovejoy ISD Feb 1, 2003 Consolidation Election Judge:

Jan 21, 2003
to Lovejoy residents from the Election judge hired by Lovejoy administration to run the consolidation election and bond election.

  • "We don't understand how..... jumping to the higher tax rate in Allen is a benefit? We're not CPAs but our budget tells us if we can enjoy Lovejoy's $1.60 tax rate for a year or two while Lovejoy builds we saved money."
  • "This isn't just a school issue, it is a TAX issue. .....It makes sense, the only way to safeguard your wallet is to keep local control of your taxes by voting against consolidation."

    Administration reaction as quoted in the Dallas Morning News article January 31, 2003

    Lovejoy Superintendent Carol Ray said she was aware of the postcards and voter concerns but said Ms. Schenck wasn't in conflict with voting laws and that she had a right to express an opinion. Ms. Schenck couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.

    "My understanding is, they [election judges] don't lose their freedom of speech rights," Dr. Ray said. "I know her to be a woman of integrity. She's not a school employee. She's just an election judge."

From Elena Westbrook, "Get the Facts" brochure
"The claim: Lovejoy has little commercial property, so residents will bear most of the tax burden.
The Truth: Lovejoy is classified as “property wealthy” already; the source of that wealth is irrelevant. Having more commercial tax base hasn’t kept Allen’s taxes low — they already pay 20 cents per $100 more than Lovejoy residents. Because Lovejoy has a substantial tax base already, it doesn’t matter what form that wealth takes. In our case, additional commercial property would not make a noticeable difference. As a homeowner, your tax bill is determined by your home value times the tax rate — and Lovejoy’s tax rate is now, and is projected to be in 2004, substantially lower than Allen’s. In 2004, your tax rate if we consolidate will be about $1.92; if we vote AGAINST consolidation, your taxes will stay around $1.60."

(Source:Robert Puster. LISD and Steve West, AISD, December 2002.) " Committee for Lovejoy Schools, PAC headed by Elena Westbrook

More from Elena Westbrook... "If Lovejoy builds, its tax rate for 2003 is estimated to remain in the low $1.60s for 2003 - a 30-cent advantage.

Consolidation Election Day Tax Rate - $1.60

Consolidation Election, February 1st 2003 - community votes against Consolidation - Tax rate $1.60

Bond Election Day Tax Rate - $1.60

$61 Million Bond Election, April 5th 2003 - Tax rate $1.60
Bond information presented to Lovejoy community

  • Currently the tax rate is $1.60 ($1.45 for M&O
    and $ .15 for Debt Service).
  • In 2003-2004 the tax rate will be in the $1.60’s.
  • The tax rate will begin to rise in 2004-2005.

POST-Election tax rate - low $1.70s

Late April 2003 - Less than one month following successful passage of $61 million bond - Lovejoy changed their web site's FAQ link from the Dec 6th letter to the FAQ in place now that states the tax rate will be in the high $1.60s or low $1.70s.
The December 6th letter was removed from the official web site.

Under current school finance law, it is expected that Lovejoy ISD will have approximately the same amount of revenue per pupil with which to operate as any other public school in Texas. The current tax rate in Lovejoy is $1.60 per $100 value. That rate will be increasing to the high $1.60s or low $1.70s in the 2003-2004 school year and be in the $1.90s by the time the high school is complete. This rate is similar to the existing rates in McKinney, Allen, and other fast growing school districts in our area."

Lovejoy denies telling taxpayers tax rate would be $1.60

August 26th 2003 Tax Rate - $1.70
Lovejoy superintendent, Carol Ray, in the August 26th special meeting to approve new tax rate, denied communicating to the Lovejoy community that the tax rate would be $1.60. When shown the second page of the official Lovejoy Dec 6th letter sent to everyone in the Lovejoy community, she stated that it did not have a letterhead or signature, denying it came from the Lovejoy administration. Several members in the audience stated they had the entire letter at home, with the letterhead, signature, and postmarked envelope. (video tape of meeting and original copies of Dec 6th Lovejoy letter available upon request)

Lovejoy raises taxes 14% in two years

Tax rate 2003-2004

Tax rate 2004-2005

Over two years since the bond election, Lovejoy has yet to provide the public with a detailed financial analysis of what can be offered to students the day the doors of the high school open, Fall 2006.

Only after a 100-signature-petition was sent to the Legislative Budget Board, did Lovejoy provide basic financial information.

Lovejoy has stated that the tax rate will be $1.96 year 2006 and and reach $1.99 year 2008-2009.

More on the information provided to the community.

Did the community vote for the $1.60 tax rate? Or..

a "Highland Park" education?

small class sizes and less overcrowding?

32 pre-AP and AP classes plus gifted, advanced, and REGULAR track classes for grades 6th - 8th?

The above choices are all very intelligent choices.
Unfortunately, none of these choices will be available.


Unofficial Lovejoy website -
the only website that provides taxpayers with comprehensive financial and scholastic information at no charge.

General Copyright Statement:
Most of the sourced material posted to is posted according to the "fair use" doctrine of copyright law for non-commercial news reporting, education, and discussion purposes.
We comply with all takedown requests.
Please send takedown requests to: SiteAdmin (at) lovejoyschools (dot) com.

DMCA Copyright Infringement Notification