Voters reject school plan

Minot voters went to the polls Tuesday, and decided that it’s not the right time to address the growing needs of the Minot Public School District.

Voters rejected a $125 million bond issue Tuesday. The money would have been used for a new elementary school in southeast Minot, converting Central Campus into a middle school, constructing a second public high school in Minot and making a number of changes to some district buildings to improve security.

In rejecting the measure, which needed at least 60 percent to pass, voters left the Minot district at something of a crossroads. Where does the district go from here??The need for additional space for students is real, and it is an issue now. There is much work ahead, of course, as district leaders decide their next move. Projections show the student enrollment continuing its growth, and with students already in portable classrooms, the district simply must find more space.

Could the district ask voters to approve a new elementary school, then ask again down the road for funds to address the middle school space issue? Perhaps. Will money suddenly be available from the State Land Trust Fund to help build schools? Doubtful.

There’s no simple solution, but district leaders must find one and soon.