Progress being made on bond project for Jackson County School District
Progress is being made on a potential bond issue for facility improvements in Jackson County schools.
For a year now, Jackson County School District Superintendent Dr. John Strycker and other district leaders have been crafting a bond proposal for the purpose of improving facilities at schools across the county. “Not only immediately, but in 5, 10, 15, 20 years and into the future, we have several facility needs.”
Outside demographic and facility studies have been conducted to assess the need for classroom upgrades, along with a school community survey. That survey showed out of nearly 3,600 respondents, 52 percent said that school facilities are ‘not adequate,’ compared to 45 percent who said they were. JCSD Business Manager Ryan Earley said, “We reached thousands of people. Community members, parents, students. Number one is classroom facilities, by a long margin.”
Now that community input has been assessed, the school board must decide between a six, seven, or eight mill tax increase.
Depending on the millage option the board chooses, the bond issue brought to voters will range from 50 to 70 million dollars and the district plans to release more specifics to residents this week on how much of a property tax increase they would see under these proposals. “The need is driving what we’re doing, but now we have to bring it in of what do we feel the taxpayers will spend and what do we feel our community will support.”
School leaders are hoping to put the bond issue to a vote in a May special election, but for now, they plan to shift their focus to outreach once the school board makes a millage decision. “For that point forward, it’s about going out to the community and making sure that we inform them of what we’re going to do with the money that we do borrow, and they can make an informed decision and vote on that.”
“We will overcommunicate the financial and tax implications of this bond, because we do respect and we’re very mindful of our taxpayers.”