Myths versus Facts
Our goal is to make sure voters are informed with the FACTS as they head to the polls.
Here, we provide answers and full explanations to some questions and statements that have come up lately in the conversation about Issue 6. Please take the time to learn more and be sure to spread the word. It’s important that we are able to share the facts about our schools and Issue 6!
MYTH: If the levy fails there will be no changes in the school district.
- If Issue 6 fails, our district’s only choice is to take money away from the classroom and our children to address important mechanical, safety and structural needs in our current school buildings.
MYTH: The district is sitting on a large pile of money and allowing our buildings to crumble to force the community to support a levy.
- The district does not have a stockpile of money sitting in an account.
- Daily, the district assesses and prioritizes the buildings’ critical needs and works to repair those that are most urgent while utilizing the limited monies allocated for repairs.
- Recurring needs include leaking roofs, flooding classrooms, electrical and plumbing issues, and failing HVAC units.
MYTH: The re-building of the 4-8 building is a WANT, not a NEED.
- Critical systems including roofing, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc. are failing and beyond their useful life.
- Allocating financial resources to provide stop-gap measures to stretch the life of these systems is no longer working and is financially irresponsible.
- The piecemeal approach to improve and/or repair the failing systems is not efficient and will eventually cost residents more money due to aging equipment, increasingly limited replacement parts, and certified professionals required to perform the repairs.
MYTH: The Board of Education combined the operating levy request with the bond to force the community to vote for the facility project.
- Both levies are needed for our schools.
- The operating levy request is vital since those funds will be used for day-to-day district expenses during the facility project and will allow us to maintain our existing programming for students.
- The district does not plan to return to voters for additional operating funds during the facility project.
MYTH: The millage ask is excessive and exceeds the actual cost of the renovation/re-build plan.
FACT: Issue 6 is the most responsible, cost-effective way to tackle ever-worsening problems of aging schools!
- The bond millage is entirely based on the cost to comprehensively renovate the high school, build a new 4-8 building, and provide ADA compliance and safety/security updates to Stevenson.
- While the Grandview Yard COULD potentially yield additional funding for the district, state law does not allow a reduction in ballot millage to reflect this “outside” source of money.
MYTH: If we wait 6 months or a year, the Grandview Yard will provide the necessary funds to cover the entire project.
- No agreement has been reached yet with the Grandview Yard and the district has no control over the final decision.
- The Grandview Yard funding request has the potential to reduce the cost to residents by 40-50% but could NEVER fund the entire project.
- Each year the district postpones the project, costs to repair our aging schools increase by $2.7 million at a conservative estimated inflation rate of 5%.
MYTH: Students will be placed in modular units during construction.
- Students will NOT be displaced in modular units during the project.
- The Financial Advisory Committee made it a priority to develop a plan that does not include the use of modulars.
MYTH: Staff members’ children attending the district are causing a burden on our school finances and class size.
- Approximately 2 students per grade level K-12 are staff members’ children.
- No additional staff have been hired and costs of materials for these 26 students are minimal.
MYTH: It will cost only $1.5 million to make all 3 schools ADA compliant and to implement comprehensive safety and security measures.
- The district must address more than just ADA and safety measures. Critical building systems are in need of replacement in order to effectively support ADA and safety measures.
- The cost to replace those systems (e.g. windows, doors, HVAC, electrical, plumbing, roofing, fire suppression) significantly exceeds $1.5 million.
MYTH: Based on the County Auditor’s Levy Estimator, the cost of this levy is $700-800 per $100,000 of valuation.
- Additional cost of this combined operating and bond levy is $239 per $100,000 of property valuation.
- The value displayed on the levy estimator is taxable value which is only 35% of the appraised value of a home.
- The district has a current bond levy that expires after 2019 collections.
- In 2019 the new levy would be phased-in so residents would NOT be taxed on both amounts at the same time.