Archive for Monday, January 14, 2013

School board formally sets bond election

January 14, 2013


The Lawrence school board took formal action Monday night to approve ballot language for the $92.5 million bond proposal that will appear on the April 2 ballot.

The question will ask voters in the district to approve a bond issue, "to construct additions to and renovate, improve technology infrastructure, equip and furnish existing elementary and secondary schools; construct, equip and furnish a new career and technology education facility and make all other necessary and related improvements in the District (the “Project”) at an estimated cost of $92,500,000."

District officials have been working for months with design consultants to outline the scope and cost of the projects. Most of the proposed bond issue — about $70.5 million — would be used to refurbish the district's 14 elementary schools, with particular focus on six older schools in central and east Lawrence: Cordley, Hillcrest, Kennedy, New York, Pinckney and Sunset Hill.

Board members and district officials are calling the proposal a "no tax increase bond" because it would not result in an increase in property taxes the district levies for its bond and interest fund.

Also during Monday's meeting, the school board received news that Lawrence was among the five school districts in Kansas named to the College Board's 2012 National Advanced Placement Honor Roll.

To qualify for the honor roll, districts must increase their participation rates and access to AP courses; ensure that participation does not decline among minority students; and increase the percentage of students scoring a 3 or higher, out of a possible 5, on AP tests.

In 2012, 438 high school students in Lawrence took a combined 699 AP tests. Of those, 75.1 percent of the scores were 3 or higher.


gr 1 year, 2 months ago

Yeah, and then there will be those saying that the "new" board is not the same as this board and so we need to pass yet another bond for a spending spree....

It's for the "children" you know. Those who want new schools, new football fields, new flat screen TVs.


Douglas Thompson 1 year, 2 months ago

It will pass, it always passes. The poor children are going to not be educated unless we pass this bond will win out as it always does.

It shouldn't pass. The district is not down to its last dollar and it needs to EARN the trust of the community by showing it can make wise financial decisions.

Just because the Board isn't the same as last time doesn't mean we should automatically give them a blank check. This board hasn't shown it can be fiscally responsible either.

There seems to be this belief that quality of buildings and the amount of technology equate to better education. Yet spending has grown for these things and the quality of education has dropped. Lets get back to basics. Children need reasonable schools not fancy schools. What they need is good teachers, parents that care, and a future nor burdened by debt. These things will not be addressed by this bond.


been_there 1 year, 3 months ago

Is there anything in that bond proposal to increase funding for kids with learning disabilities? There are many that are denied services because there is not enough money. If not, don't expect my vote. By the way, there is technology out there to help kids with learning disabilities but I bet they won't be spending money on that.


1 year, 3 months ago

Well I can't think of anything else that needs more attention than our technology needs and securing our buildings. There won't be money left once we are brought up to par this way and we are running safe and effective schools that are preparing our kids for their future. Believe me, now we are selling them short!


melott 1 year, 3 months ago

Mindspeaking, please don't misinterpret. I don't begrudge them the money for education. They have textbooks with covers falling off. They do have state-of-the-art football fields, 1 at each high school. One at least was built with $5 million worth of funds from a previous bond issue targeted on education. They have flat screen TVs to run the school announcements in the lunch room at LHS. They have a clause in this bond issue that lets them spend money on anything they like (see above). Based on experience, many of don't trust the management to spend the money at all wisely.


1 year, 3 months ago

Have any of you nay sayers walked into an LPS school lately? I think not. We are not up to par with surrounding districts. We do not have the technology required to prepare our students with the real world, we hardly have any technology as it stands. And these buildings - geesh. They are old and they are not secure. I don't know why you people don't want better for our kids.


rockchalk1977 1 year, 3 months ago

Just say NO to out-of-control spending.


Rachael Sudlow 1 year, 3 months ago

They're already spending that theoretical money hiring 'consultants' to figure out how to spend it. Hope those 'Bobs' help figure out how to use the money better than last time they got a bond issue.

So, they're planning on spending the bulk of that money to refurbish elementary long (after they refurbish them of course), before they shut a few down?
money down the drain. 92 million is ridiculous.


gr 1 year, 3 months ago

Sorry kids, but we chose to have a new library. Not that we needed one, but we would rather have a new library than a technology education facility, .... or new football uniforms....

We made the choice.

Library, not school.

Recreation facility, not school.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

Hopefully the LJW will do what ever it can to secure any documents as the the spending of the last bond monies and publish it. You know they are a bunch of liars when they say this is no cost to the taxpayer. The old bond sunsets, our taxes automatically go down, they secure this new bond and claim this is zero cost to us... jez....

It amazes me that the homes we live in last 50 years and this group of geniuses can't make a new school last 20. New leadership needs to be installed from top to bottom and a full accounting of expenditures need to be made public.

The bond issue is a blank check, the old bait and switch, and a pig in a poke. Voting for this blindly is freekin stupid. Wimpy used to tell Popeye... I'll pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.


melott 1 year, 3 months ago

" and make all other necessary and related improvements in the District " a true blank check.


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 3 months ago

When the new valuations come out there will be a slight increase and thus your taxes go up even if the mill levy stays the same.

problem: no one on the school board is working for a private employer at an hourly wage. They do not know frugality!


Keith Richards 1 year, 3 months ago

If the previous bonds are coming off the books, thus lowering taxes. Then this has to be a tax increase. Without this bond our property taxes would be lower.


Centurion 1 year, 3 months ago

This year I will be voting NO! It's obvious from the miss spending from the last bond issue that they are asking for to much.


toe 1 year, 3 months ago

Passes with ease. A city in love with treating its citizens like an ATM.


Benjamin Roberts 1 year, 3 months ago

No. Not just no, but 92,500,000 times - No!


Commenting has been disabled for this item.