School Bond Election Pawnee

May 9, 2017 – Pawnee Public School Board Bond Special Election

 

Bond Election, Without Raising Taxes

Mr. Williams said that under school law, school districts are required to issue a ballot question to the voters to approve the issuance of new bonds. Under law, bonds can be used for transportation, textbooks, technology equipment, building new facilities, or repairing existing facilities.

Pawnee Public Schools will be asking voters to approve a bond request on May 9, 2017, to cover the following:

Textbooks, technology, and classroom materials:

$500,000

Transportation: 1 bus and one suburban: $100,000

This bond will not increase taxes.

It will be added to the current bond issue.

For the past nine years, the school has had substantial cuts in funding and has been unable to purchase new textbooks. Teachers are no longer given money for classroom supplies. We are very thankful that the PTO, churches, booster clubs, the Pawnee Nation, and local businesses have stepped in to supply classroom materials, but our teachers have borne most of the burden of supplying their classrooms out of their own pockets.

We are asking voters to approve this bond issue to provide these needed books, chrome books, and other classroom materials for our students.

In addition, we will replace a school bus with 185,000 miles. While that may not seem excessive, please keep in mind that those miles have mostly been accumulated driving on county roads that are in extremely poor condition. The condition of the county roads greatly affects all our busses and the repair bills are extensive.

The suburban that will be replaced is used to transport special needs students daily. Currently the vehicle has over 204,000 miles.

Why are we asking voters to approve these expenses?

Pawnee Public Schools has taken substantial budget losses over the past nine years. Since 2009, Pawnee Public Schools has lost $1,672,567.48 in Oklahoma State Aid. This money would have been used to ensure that our students had access to technology, current textbooks, and classroom materials. In addition, this money could have been used to replace busses, as needed. At this point the only option to provide for our students is to ask the tax payers to provide the needed items.

In addition to the staggering State Aid losses, the school has also lost $424,865.25 in gross production, motor vehicle, and rural electric taxes.

The saddest part of this entire scenario is that Pawnee Students have suffered a loss of over $2,000,000.00 in the last eight years. If the State had been funding our school as needed, the situation at Pawnee and many other school districts would be completely different. The school feels that our students deserve the best education possible and are seeking local funding to help students.

A specific aspect of the bond is, if passed, it will directly affect students and teachers. All the bond money will be spent directly on a needed list of items compiled by the individual teachers and turned in to their building principal.

We are asking our patrons to extend our present bond issues for an additional three years, with the understanding there will be no tax increase above what they are currently paying.