Community Forum on Monday, 6/6 at 6 p.m. on Possible Bond Issue

posted Jun 4, 2016, 6:51 AM by District Webmaster   [ updated Jun 4, 2016, 6:52 AM ]
THE PUBLIC IS INVITED to attend an evening community forum to learn about a possible bond issue in August and provide feedback to the board and district administrators.

During its meeting on May 16, 2016 and at a public board workshop meeting on June 2, the Bartlesville Board of Education discussed a possible bond issue for August 2016. The Board will consider approving a bond issue at a meeting on Tuesday, June 7. The early vote is required for an election to be held on August 23.

PUBLIC COMMUNITY FORUM
at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 6
The Community Forum will be held at the Freshman Academy Conference Center at Bartlesville High School, entrance off Shawnee Avenue north of 18th Street with parking in the large lot east of Shawnee. The format will seek and allow input from any community member.

PREVENTING ADDITIONAL STAFFING CUTS & CLASS SIZE INCREASES
The top priority is to shift more operational expenses from the general fund to bond issue funds. The district has suffered repeated state revenue shortfalls in 2015 and 2016 and has cut $1.9 million from its 2016-2017 budget. The cuts include the loss of 21 teaching positions, 3 district administrator positions, and 15 other support positions.

If the community approved a bond issue, $700,000 in additional annual operational expenses could be covered for five years by bond issue funding, which might well prevent additional staffing cuts in 2017-2018 and consequent increases in class sizes.

OTHER NEEDED IMPROVEMENTS
The initial concept for the bond issue also includes other needed improvements:
  • Equip students and classrooms with computing devices; update classroom touchscreen teaching walls, furniture, and finishes
  • Renovate middle school auditoriums and elementary playgrounds
  • Improve the reconfigured facilities for the athletics and music programs
  • Update Jane Phillips and Hoover interiors to match other schools
  • Fund needed maintenance and repairs across the district
  • Update old bus fleet and other vehicles
The staff forums and public board meeting will help the district focus on the largest priorities and scale the bond issue to meet community expectations.

Community Forum Announcement

Visit BruinBond.com for more bond issue updates

Can you spare a dime?
Help us develop a plan that is worth your dime

MILLAGE INCREASE
One reason staff and community input is especially important is that any bond issue at this point would require an increase in ad valorem taxes; the district is still paying off on earlier bond issues, including the one which added grades 9-10 to Bartlesville High School and is partially renovating Central Middle School. Estimates are that an August 2016 bond issue would increase the school district's sinking fund millage from the current 27 mills to 30 mills. For a home valued at $100,000, the homeowner would pay an additional $3/month in property taxes.

The district is willing to entertain this proposal, asking taxpayers if they can "spare a dime a day" in a bond conceived to help the district:
  • Control our own fate
Redirect the savings from continuing state income tax cuts to property taxes for our local schools to prevent cutting teachers and increasing class sizes
  • Give our students the tools others have
Competitive districts are all moving to 1:1 technology
  • Give families a reason to settle here
Modernized classroom and extracurricular environments that will attract folks to raise their family here instead of the Tulsa suburbs
Ċ
District Webmaster,
Jun 4, 2016, 6:52 AM