The proposal includes the following for Canute students with NO projected tax increase:
The election will be Tuesday, March 2. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can find your polling place by visiting: okvoterportal.okelections.us. Bond issues require 60% to pass. Every vote matters.
If you would like to vote by absentee ballot, you must request your ballot online no later than Tuesday, February 23 by visiting okvoterportal.okelections.us. Please follow the instructions for returning the ballot carefully.
Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 25 and Friday, February 26 at the Washita County Election Board, located at 111 E. Main Street in Cordell.
Oklahoma law requires buses to be separated from other items on the ballot; however, both propositions combined represent one plan to meet the needs of Canute students. Proposition No. 1 is for $600,000, and Proposition 2 is for $360,000.
Schools are the heart and soul of a community, especially in smaller towns. It’s where we gather for events, cheer for our favorite teams and celebrate accomplishments and successes with one another. Schools are a quality-of-life issue, especially when families are deciding where to live and business owners are deciding where to invest. By maintaining and improving our schools, and offering our students the best opportunities, we increase the likelihood our community will continue to grow and thrive.
This plan will purchase a Chromebook, similar to a laptop computer, for every junior high and high school student, and every elementary student will receive an iPad from the district’s current technology inventory. While this will provide students with flexibility to learn at home and at school, the devices will be owned, inventoried and serviced by the school district so future students will benefit as well.
Technology makes learning more engaging for students. With Chromebooks and iPads, students will be able to access additional instructional resources, collaborate more with one another and better relate what they are learning at school to other areas of their lives.
Many Canute students rely on bus transportation to and from school each day. The district’s aging buses – some of which were purchased in the late 1990s – have been unreliable and require frequent, expensive repairs. This bond package will allow the district to purchase four new buses that will provide students with safe and reliable transportation. One will even include a lift to meet the needs of students who require a wheelchair for mobility.
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that requires equal access and services for individuals with disabilities in the most integrated setting possible. For schools, “the most integrated setting possible” means providing students with disabilities a school experience comparable to the one provided to their peers without disabilities, whenever possible. This includes addressing barriers that prevent those with disabilities from accessing areas of a facility or school transportation.
Bonds are used by schools and other entities to borrow funding for allowable projects and purchases. Schools use the funding for capital investment projects such as building and improving facilities, purchasing technology and replacing buses. In the state of Oklahoma, there is not another funding mechanism large enough for districts to make significant improvements to their schools without using a bond issue. Fortunately, bonds interest rates are traditionally low – and have been historically low in recent months.
That’s what makes the plan even better for local residents! There is NO projected tax increase with this bond issue.
The impact of a bond on taxpayers is determined by the assessed valuation of property in the school district and the amount of financing approved by voters. When a district’s valuation increases and/or when the district pays down previously approved bonds, it allows the district to sell more bonds without an additional projected cost to taxpayers. Canute school leaders practiced good stewardship and positioned the district for this opportunity.
By carefully planning for this bond issue and working to ensure there is no projected tax increase, Canute Public Schools can address these much-needed improvements for students without asking community members to pay more taxes. If any school district’s tax levy decreases, it often requires a bond issue that includes a tax increase in the future. Many school districts have found promoting and keeping a level tax levy long-term is an effective way to meet capital investment needs because it is win-win for students and for the community. We believe this is a financially responsible way for our district to address student needs, too.
Currently, among its peer districts (Hammon, Merritt, Arapaho Butler, Sayre, Burns Flat-Dill City and Sentinel), Canute ranks third from the bottom in its investment per student for dollars spent on bond-related improvements. Even with this bond issue, there is no projected increase in taxes so the chart will be unchanged.
No, the law does not allow the funds to be used for salaries. The money can only be used for the projects outlined on the voter ballot and must be used for capital expenses. To learn more, you can visit our website and select the Bond Transparent Act link on the left: canutepublicschool.com/investingincanute.
Canute Public Schools has demonstrated good stewardship by ensuring they can meet the needs of today’s students without a projected tax increase. These improvements are needed now, not later. Delaying the election for years would mean many current students – grades worth of students – would not benefit from the improvements and would do without resources they need. Canute Public Schools would like all current and future students to benefit from the 1:1 technology devices, safer, more reliable transportation, and much-needed facility upgrades.