Harrison County School Bond issue
The Harrison County $55 million bond set to be voted on November 6th is set to improve security and add two new schools to the area to deal with overcrowding, all with no increase in taxes.
It has been more than 20 years since the Harrison County School District requested a bond. Tuesday, Biloxi and Gulfport city officials voiced their disapproval.
Today, News 25 spoke with the Harrison County School District superintendent and other board members about why the $55 million bond is needed.
This bond proposes to bring updated security and two new schools to compensate for overcrowding. Included in the plans are a new K through 8th grade school in the D’Iberville area and a new middle school on the west side of the county. The bond has seen opposition from city officials in Biloxi and Gulfport. City officials said they want to wait and look at alternatives, but Harrison County doesn’t believe waiting is the answer. “There’s no time to wait when you look at postponing it. It is critical that this bond issue be passed.”
Board member Bill Bradley said, “We have to step back and look at what is best we can do for the students of Harrison County. It’s not what’s best for my area or what’s best for another area. It’s got to be the best for the entire district. You know populations are growing and everywhere you go there’s a new subdivision popping up. We can’t wait for the dam to break in order to make something happen.”
The Harrison County School District has seen substantial growth with more than 15,000 current students and enrollment is projected to rise. Harrison County currently has 31 portable classrooms; dealing with overcrowding is a timely issue, as well as safety always being a priority. Harrison County Superintendent Roy Gill said, “They need to remember one thing: it’s about the children of Harrison County School District. Nothing else, nothing more, that is the number one thing that we have to keep in mind and we have to make sure that a vote against is not a vote for the children.”
Gill tells News 25 this bond will not affect anyone living with the city school districts. He says it won’t even be on their ballot. Therefore, the law does not require the county district to seek any approval from the city school districts.
Harrison County wants to be able to accommodate students living in the district or choose to attend Harrison County Schools. “The school district boundaries are set, they’ve been set. The law states that as cities annex school district lines don’t change. So if somebody is saying that these new schools will take students away from their district, well that’s erroneous information,” said Gill.
Harrison County School District hopes this bond is passed so they can continue to provide the safest and best education possible as well as save the tax payers dollars by having this vote with the November 6th election.
If you would like more details on this bond you can attend one of the informational meetings:
- October 23rd: West Harrison High 5:30 p.m.
- October 24th: River Oaks Elementary 5:30 p.m.
- October 29th: Lyman Elementary 6:00 p.m.