Advertisement

Archive for Monday, August 13, 2012

Board resumes talks on bond issue

The Lawrence Public Schools' Board of Education sits in its meeting space in the district office at 110 McDonald Drive on Aug. 13. The board members, from left, are: Vanessa Sanburn (president), Rick Ingram (vice president), Keith Diaz Moore, Shannon Kimball, Mark Bradford, Randy Masten and Bob Byers.

The Lawrence Public Schools' Board of Education sits in its meeting space in the district office at 110 McDonald Drive on Aug. 13. The board members, from left, are: Vanessa Sanburn (president), Rick Ingram (vice president), Keith Diaz Moore, Shannon Kimball, Mark Bradford, Randy Masten and Bob Byers.

August 13, 2012

Advertisement

The Lawrence school board heard Monday that an April bond issue would primarily support elementary schools, particularly in the east and central parts of the city, in addition to other educational needs.

Superintendent Rick Doll told board members that planning for the bond would likely continue through Jan. 1, with community outreach efforts beginning after that.

The board discussed a bond that would also support high schools, districtwide technology needs and the expansion of high school career and technical programs.

Doll said the district was working toward a “no-tax increase” bond issue, meaning the property tax rate would not increase because old debt would be retired as new debt would be added.

Board member Rick Ingram suggested that the district work toward a “tax-decrease” bond issue.

Those two and other board members discussed multiple ways to engage and educate the community about the district’s needs. Board member Mark Bradford suggested the district articulate its goals both to members of the community with children in school and to property owners who may not have children in school.

The board also selected Lawrence-based Gould Evans Architects to lead the district through the pre-bond planning process for the district.

In other business on Monday, the board:

• Approved a budget with a lower mill levy than previously approved. The board lowered the mill levy at the recommendation of Kathy Johnson, the district’s finance director, who said the district was now projecting additional revenue that was not included in the budget published in July.

The new budget lowered the district’s mill levy by 1.204 mills, to a rate that would mean the owner of a $100,000 house would pay $623.69 a year in school district property taxes. No one spoke at a public hearing on the budget.

• Approved a new teacher contract that included $1.6 million for teacher raises. The average total salary increase for teachers will be $1,780, or 4 percent, said Kyle Hayden, assistant superintendent for business and operations. The teachers’ union still needs to approve the contract before it becomes final.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Bottom line there needs a plan B to get this rehab action underway if a bond is put forth and fails.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

In addition to the above

At $7.5 million USD 497 tax dollars a year in capital outlay funds this maintenance could be accomplished in 3-4 years without raising taxes or borrowing money. That money should be available as we speak.

In fact USD 497 2011 Facilities and Maintenance Capital Outlay Priorities suggests $6,440,000 could be made available.... IMO.

I say time for a discussion of this combo finance plan is due.

The governor simply does not support public education. Sam Brownback would rather throw tax dollars at "corporate run schools". Not too smart.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

Because the previous board blew $20 million or more on PLAY this bond will likely not pass. The previous BOE displayed a show of grand disrespect for the USD 497 taxpayers.... because they could. They ignored taxpayers respect for fiscal responsibility. The $20 million blown on PLAY would have covered the cost of maintaining taxpayer owned property. PLAY was a reckless decision

Does this spell doom and gloom for rehabilitation of taxpayer owned properties? Not necessarily.

To avoid a bond issue would USD 497 work to put a combination of tax dollar sources together to accomplish this desperately necessary project? Perhaps a 4-5 year project written in stone!!

Think about saving $3 million annually on the school bus contract?

USD 497 budgets $4-4.5 million to bus students. The district is charged at a daily rate depending on how many students use the transportation.

Parents would you be willing to find other means to get your students to school IF it meant getting rid of portable buildings keeping all the schools open keeping teachers employed retaining important subject matter and programs

Think car pooling,family members ,walking and biking.

Can WE come up with $3 million towards the rehab project? Maybe

IF 75% of students were no longer on a school bus( parents responsibility) 75% of $4,000,000 = $3,000,000 (million) 75% of $4,500,000 = $3,375,000(million)

Put that new reckless purchase of 75 acres @ $23,000 per acre back on the market. After all Scott Morgan said there were no plans for this land

Think about selling the extravagant admin headquarters and moving into the Centennial Elementary School building. Time to make better use of existing resources.

0

Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

LJW has comment today http://www2.ljworld.com/news/opinion/

To maintain a superb system parents must remain active which means we cannot allow school boards to dictate what will be. As taxpayers we are also the most important stakeholders who elect school boards to carry out our wishes not the other way around.

Our founding fathers wanted to insure Democracy for our country. Benjamin Franklin created the public library, the purpose being no citizen will be secluded from public knowledge. He also founded the public school, the purpose being no citizen will be without a basic education.

Voters and taxpayers are the primary stakeholders no matter what. Always let the voters decide how reckless or not we wish to be.

0

William Ed 1 year, 8 months ago

Apparently Doll doesn't understand that if a bond is paid off, our taxes will be reduced. Since there is already lots of money collected in the budget for making improvements to the schools, a bond issue is just a ploy, and waste of time, for gilding lilies. (Think multi million $$$ athletic arenas). Kind of makes one wonder what the Administration is thinking about...

0

Phillbert 1 year, 8 months ago

This will likely be the last no tax increase year, as once Brownback's tax cuts for the Koch Brothers kick in, property taxes are going to spike.

0

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

"The Lawrence school board heard Monday that an April bond issue would primarily support elementary schools, particularly in the east and central parts of the city, in addition to other educational needs."

Isn't it the board's responsibility to determine what the bond would be used for?

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.