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January 16, 2014

Chamber endorses NPS bond election

NORMAN — The Board of Directors of the Norman Chamber of Commerce voted to endorse Norman Public Schools’ no-tax-increase school bond election.

The election will be Feb. 11 and includes two proposals totaling $126 million.

Norman Chamber of Commerce Chairman Andy Sherrer said the Chamber recognizes the direct connection between development and quality of life for all citizens and the community having strong schools.

“The Norman Chamber is honored to have the opportunity to once again support public education,” Sherrer said. “The Chamber knows that a solid public school system provides future workers with the necessary tools to empower Norman business success. Please join me in voting yes on Feb. 11.”

If approved, NPS’ two school bond proposals — $122.5 million for capital improvements, safety and security enhancements, technology, athletics and annual expenditures like textbooks, and $3.5 million for transportation — would be financed via a five-year revenue bond that requires the projects to be completed within 36 months.

A revenue bond also was the manner in which NPS financed its $109 million, no-tax-increase bond election in 2009. All of those projects were finished on time, within the budget approved by voters and focused heavily on elementary and middle school renovations.

The 2014 bond issue would include further improvements at the elementary and middle school levels, especially in the area of student technology, while also allowing for a dramatic investment at the high school level with the establishment of a freshman academy and collegiate center at Norman High and Norman North, as well as classroom and athletic enhancements.

“Norman businesses know a cornerstone to a strong community is a vibrant and successful educational system. We must continue to invest in our public schools, while being good stewards of the trust and tax dollars of our citizens,” said John Woods, Norman Chamber of Commerce executive director and CEO.

NPS Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano said the district and board of education greatly appreciate the strong support the Norman Chamber of Commerce gives to local schools.

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