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Norman Board of Education calls for school bond election

Monday, Dec. 3, 2018 - NORMAN - Safety and security for students is the cornerstone of a school bond proposal local voters will consider at the polls Feb. 12, 2019. The Norman Board of Education approved a resolution authorizing the school bond election at Monday’s board meeting.

The 2019 bond proposal calls for significant investments in the safety and security of students and staff. In fact, if approved by voters, the bond would ensure that every school in the district has a storm shelter. Additional security measures include interior and exterior door enhancements, protective window film, security camera and alarm system upgrades, perimeter security and health services equipment. Several schools would also receive multi-classroom additions, library renovations and parking improvements.

Fine Arts is also a key component of the proposal, as many schools would receive new or upgraded facilities for music, band and visual arts programs. Additionally, funding would be maximized by building the art facilities as school storm shelters.

Projects identified in the school bond proposal were identified as a result of demographic studies, facility assessments and input from parents, teachers, staff and community stakeholders.

The total bond proposal calls for an investment of $186 million over six years at a sinking fund millage rate of 30. The ballot will feature two separate propositions, as school transportation bond projects are required by law to be listed as a separate proposition on the ballot. Thus, the first proposition, which is for the bulk of the bond projects, is $182.5 million. The second proposition, which is specifically for school transportation items, is $3.5 million.

A school bond election is a bond issue used by a public school district to fund capital improvement projects, instructional materials and transportation needs. These measures are placed on the ballot by school boards to be considered by the voting public and require a supermajority of 60 percent of votes to pass. Historically, the Norman Public School District’s bond issues have served as steps in a long-term plan to maintain and enhance excellent educational opportunities. Norman voters have approved more than $432 million in school bond funds since 1972.

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