A Master Plan committee developed a plan to deal with the District’s enrollment growth and you can read about the details of their work at this page
. Q What will be on the ballot?A.
Simply put, the issue will fund new schools, staff for the new schools, upgrades to existing facilities, technology, and equipment.
The issue will be a no new millage bond issue
and permanent improvement levy, combined with a 5.9-mill operating levy. Q. Where will the new schools be located?A.
The District already owns land in two locations for the new schools. An elementary school will be constructed on Bright Road and an elementary school and a middle school will be constructed in Jerome Village.Q. When will the new schools be opened?A.
If the November issues passes, two elementary schools will open in the fall of 2020 and the fifth middle school would open in the fall of 2021. Q. Are high school additions part of the issue?A
. Yes. A timeline for when high school additions will be opened is still being developed but additions at two of our high schools are part of the November ballot request. Q. How much will the issue cost taxpayers?A.
The issue will cost $207 per $100,000 of home value and this amount is the lowest requested since 1986. The new schools and facility improvements will not cost taxpayers anything additional due to the no new millage bond issue. Q. How long with the issue last?A.
Current financial forecasts indicate the District would not have to return to voters with a request until 2022.Q. What is a no new millage bond issue?A.
This concept allows the new schools and facility improvements to be funded at no additional cost to taxpayers. The District has millage rolling off the books over the next few years which amounts to having paid off “the mortgages” of several schools built in the mid to late 80s. This provides the District with the financial flexibility to build new schools and improve existing buildings, without raising taxes. Bond issues can only fund brick and mortar and equipment, they cannot be used to fund staffing.Q. What is a permanent improvement levy?A.
The permanent improvement levy that is part of this issue would not go into effect until 2020. The permanent improvement levy is the portion of the issue that will fund improvements to existing facilities. More than $95-million in existing facilities needs was identified by the Master Plan committee.Q. What is an operating levy?A.
Operating levies are what funds the District’s general fund used to operate the District on a daily basis. As a service industry, almost 90% of our general fund budget is personnel. Q. Will the issue be three separate questions on the ballot?A.
No, the issues will be combined into one question on the ballot. One vote for or against all three. Q. Why combine the no new millage bond issue and permanent improvement requests with an operating levy request?A.
In the 1990s, Karrer Middle School was constructed with bond funds and then sat empty for an entire school year because the District did not have the accompanying operating dollars to staff the new facility.Q. What happens if the issue doesn’t pass?A.
In the short term, the schools will continue to be overcrowded and class sizes would increase. Additionally, more portable classrooms could be a possibility. Q. Will safety and security upgrades be part of the no new millage bond issue/permanent improvement levy?A.
Yes. The details of safety and security enhancements are in development but will be part of the November issue.Q. Will redistricting be needed as part of this plan?A.
Whenever new schools open, redistricting must take place. A redistricting committee will conduct a transparent process about a year before a new school opens in order to give parents plenty of time to adjust should their school attendance boundaries need to be shifted.