Washington County: Let’s Say No to Proposed School Bond on Feb 14th and Send Board Back to the Drawing Boards

A resolution authorizing an election for Bartlesville Independent School District was passed on December 8, 2011. It set an election date for said propositions for February 14, 2012. Here is a copy of that resolution:

In case the embed code above doesn’t work in your browser here is a link >>>Link to Resolution on Scribd

I am of the opinion that we need to just say no to this entire bonded indebtedness authorizing lots more money to be spent in a time where we should be trimming fat and living within our means. It is not the time to be spending more of the taxpayers hard earned money rather than simply using existing resources. I agree with Angel Box in her comments below that we need to send the board ‘back to the drawing boards.’ Please read her comments, write a letter of your own, and be ready to just say no at the polls on Feb 14th.

I also recommend that we follow Rep Josh Cockroft’s recommendation that we combine these types of school bond elections with other more major elections so that they come under more scrutiny from more voters.  We could also avoid the expense of a ‘special’ election attended by low voter awareness and turnout. If everyone is going to end up paying more in taxes, then let’s make sure everyone gets an opportunity to vote at a time when they normally do so on other matters.

Rep. Josh Cockroft of McCloud says he believes changing the date of the elections would increase voter participation. Cockroft says if schools are to improve, the entire community should be involved in their futures.

Currently, school board elections are held on the second Tuesday in February or on the date of the presidential primary.

Quote source and more about this legislative recommendation here >>>

We need to tell the school board over and over again to get budgets in order and quit asking for more money in a time where most of us are reducing expenditures and cutting back!  It doesn’t take more money to educate children.  It requires better management of existing resources.

Please consider writing your own letter and visiting with friends and neighbors about this important issue.  We just spent a bunch of money on an unnecessary roundabout.  Let’s make sure all options to reduce costs in a declining economy are being considered and our families are not being saddled with debt levels that are unsustainable.  It just makes good common sense.  That is the way my household functions and I am sure yours does to.  I am reducing costs at present, not increasing them!

__________________________

Send them back to the drawing boards on Feb 14th

Every fifteen or twenty years our school board comes up with a bond that needs to be voted down. This is one of those years! There are a few good ideas in the bond, like replacing the portables at Kane, but many more bad ones.

Why we should vote ‘no’ on February 14th

*  the grade configuration. Two of the massive changes in configuration are not in the best interests of the students

* the future. Building a new larger school at the Madison location will lock us in to this problematic configuration (see below).

Bad ideas in the bond

*  closing Central to students – and spending $2.5 million to retrofit Central for administration.

*  consolidating  all the 6th and 7th graders in a new larger building at the Madison location

*  consolidating  all  8th and 9th graders at the Mid High building

Why these are bad ideas:

The Mid High (the current 9th and 10th grade center) has never worked well because there are too many students – nearly a thousand – of similar ages in one place. This bond gets rid of that arrangement but replaces it with two more! A 6th and 7th grade center and a 8th and 9th grade center. We’ll be doubling the “Mid High effect”.

We lament that our children grow up too fast and yet we keep pushing them.  First they took the 6th graders out of their small neighborhood schools and sent them to the larger middle schools. Now they want to send the 6th graders to an even larger school which, for half of them, is much farther from their homes (increasing busing distances and costs).  Studies show that the younger the child, the better he or she does in smaller schools closer to home. This is especially true of the disadvantaged. A parent from the west side said once “our kids do fine through Central but we lose them when they are sent over to the mid high.”  …and these were 9th graders.

Less expensive options that get rid of the problematic Mid High configuration:

*  use Madison as a 9th grade center for the time being. We would have a more manageable number of students (half) coming together for the first time from both sides of town. We could tear down Madison and build a new smaller 9th grade center there in the future unless we decide to build the 9th grade center at the High School campus. There is room there.

*  move the Madison students into the Mid High building

*  move  the 10th  grade into a new wing at high school location. (this is a plan conceived by Marta Manning twenty years ago)

*  move administration to the Mid High building – plenty of room there

The Board can come back with a better bond within months.

For now……send them back to the drawing boards!

Special thanks to Angela Box for her thoughts above on the upcoming ‘Annual School Election’ set for February 14th.

__________________________

For more information on School Bond and Tax Elections in Oklahoma.

Information on Annual School Election from State Election Board:

Annual School Election February 14, 2012
Annual School Runoff Election April 3, 2012

Board of Education Filing Packet
Contains the required Declaration of Candidacy form, filing instructions and more
Proof of Identity for Voting
Facts about the law, acceptable forms of identification

Posted by Sandra Crosnoe for Finding Gems & Sharing Them

Cross-posted with OKGrassroots

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4 Responses to “Washington County: Let’s Say No to Proposed School Bond on Feb 14th and Send Board Back to the Drawing Boards”

  1. OKGrassroots Sample Resolutions for Precinct Meetings — Debate and Educate! | Grassroots in Oklahoma Says:

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  2. Vote Reminder: Just say NO on BISD bond election on Tuesday February 14th and save taxpayers a cool $50 Million! « Finding Gems & Sharing Them Says:

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  3. Vote Reminder: Just say NO on BISD bond election on Tuesday February 14th and save taxpayers a cool $50 Million! | Grassroots in Oklahoma Says:

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