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February 10, 2014

Bond vote will decide schools’ future

NORMAN — Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of articles on the Norman Public School district’s proposed bond issue to be voted on tomorrow, Feb. 11.

Parents, teachers, administrators and community members will decide the future of Norman Public Schools with the 2014 bond issue election on Tuesday.

Norman Public Schools has proposed a bond with several focus areas to address district growth, increased academic rigor, safety and more. NPS Board of Education member Julie Raadschelders said the 2014 bond proposal was the result of an extremely well-researched and thoughtful process.

“It includes projects that touch all aspects of K-12 education, including academics, technology, the arts and safety and security,” Raadschelders said.

Norman Public Schools have dedicated 3 percent of bond funds to transportation; 9 percent of bond funds to annual expenditures which include annual textbook, library, fine arts and furniture acquisitions and maintenance equipment; 10 percent of bond funds to athletics; 13 percent of bond funds to safety and security; 18 percent of bond funds to technology; and 47 percent of bond funds to school facility additions and renovations.

This bond issue is the largest ever proposed in the school district’s history. For the bond issue to pass, it must carry a vote of 60 percent.

The $126 million, five-year bond issue will be voted on in two proposals. Voters will be asked to approve one proposal representing $122.5 million for renovations, safety and security, technology, athletics and annual expenditure projects, as well as a separate $3.5 million

proposal for transportation. State law requires transportation be a separate proposal in school bond elections.

The bond issue is not expected to raise or lower property taxes because other bonds will have been paid off by the time the new bonds would hit the tax rolls.

“This is an opportunity for the community as whole to make their voice heard as to the values they have and what’s important to them,” Dr. Joe Siano, NPS superintendent, said. “I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to vote.”

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