Supporting school bond issue

In less than two weeks, Minot voters will again have the opportunity to be part of an important decision in the education of Minot’s youth.

A $125 million bond issue failed to pass in?December after it received 50 percent of the vote; the issue needed 60 percent to be approved. On April 8, residents will vote on a $39.5 million bond issue that would pay for construction of a new elementary school, classroom additions and other renovations at Perkett and Edison elementaries and security additions at schools throughout the district.

While the bond issue has been scaled back, some things have not changed since the December vote. State law still prohibits using sales tax revenue to build public schools. Oil companies are still not going to ride to the rescue and pay for new public schools. Money in the School Lands Trust remains unavailable to build new public schools.

One other issue that hasn’t changed: Enrollment in the public school system continues to grow. Supt. Mark Vollmer said the district continues to see enrollment growth between 3 and 3.5 percent yearly. As we said in December, putting even more students in portable classrooms and increasing class sizes, especially at the elementary level, are unacceptable longterm solutions. The needs are real and they are immediate.

The school district heard complaints in December that the $125 million bond issue was simply too big, and too costly to homeowners because of the accompanying property tax hike. The district addressed those concerns by making the bond issue smaller and more focused on immediate needs.

We supported the bond issue in?December, and we continue to support the issue now. We firmly believe in the importance of education, and its longterm value to our community. We also continue to believe that being part of a community sometimes means making sacrifices for the benefit of the entire community.

The Minot Daily News supports a ‘yes’ vote on the April 8 Minot Public School District’s bond issue.