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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Ballot language for the bond proposal

This afternoon, the district’s administration released the following proposal for language to use on the ballot for the district’s bond proposal:
Shall the Board of Directors of the Iowa City Community School District in the County of Johnson, State of Iowa, be authorized to contract indebtedness and issue General Obligation Bonds in an amount not to exceed $191,525,000 to provide funds to address health, safety, and accessibility issues in all school buildings, including air conditioning all school buildings, reducing the use of temporary classroom structures in the District, addressing classroom, lunchroom, and gymnasium overcrowding, and dedicating rooms to science, music, and art by constructing, furnishing and equipping a new building, constructing additions to and/or remodeling, repairing, and improving the school buildings remaining in the District’s Facilities Master Plan, as follows: Mann and Lincoln renovations, Liberty High athletic facilities construction and site improvements, new elementary school construction in North Liberty and site improvements, West High renovation, South East and North Central Junior High additions, Shimek renovation, City High addition and upgrades, Wood addition, Wickham upgrades, Garner and Northwest additions, Liberty High addition, Horn renovation, Kirkwood addition, Borlaug, Alexander, and Lemme additions, and Tate High addition and upgrades?
The new language was added to tonight’s board meeting agenda, which means the board could vote to approve it tonight—though, since it will have been public for less than six hours before the meeting, the board could choose to postpone approval until our April 25 meeting.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why won't the Board simply commit to spending $xxxxxxx for x specific project? There still is no commitment that anything is going to be done for any specific school. It's nothing more than a Visa card with a $192M balance limit.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that is one ridiculously long run-on sentence. Maybe I am just dense, but for me it is kind of difficult to read the way it is worded. So much for clarity, but maybe that is the intent. I mean who doesn't want to "address health, safety, and accessibility issues" as it states? Do we know who actually wrote this? Why doesn't it break out individual projects and amounts like Chris Lynch said it would when he spoke at our schools? Chris - is the individual monetary breakout for each project still legally part of it (maybe as recorded in the FMP since this statement references FMP) even though it doesn't mention it in this statement or can they really spend any portion of the $191M on any school listed?

Anonymous said...

@9:10 "Chris - is the individual monetary breakout for each project still legally part of it (maybe as recorded in the FMP since this statement references FMP) even though it doesn't mention it in this statement or can they really spend any portion of the $191M on any school listed?"

No, no, and no again. Big bait and switch. Vote No.

Anonymous said...

At the presentation this week at City High, board member Kirschling admitted that the district was not obligated to build any particular project. To his credit, he was honest.

Think about what would happen if the bids come in higher than expected. Something would have to get cut.

And if the past is any guide, the board could decide to close current Lincoln, build a new school in the north, call it Lincoln Elementary, and fully comply with the broad, vague ballot language.

It all comes down to whether we trust the board and administration.

Anonymous said...

Snowflakes: I want it all. And I want it now.
ICCSD Leaders: I want it all. And I want it now.

Anonymous said...

In the bond proposal language, the purpose statement lists that the bond will provide funds to address health issues. Since health issues are listed first I would assume that addressing health issues would be a significant portion of the bond. Does anyone know exactly what the existing health issues are that are being addressed by the bond money? Why haven't these health issues been addressed already if our children are at risk? Are they considering lack of air conditioning a health issue? Is there something that I am missing where they are planning to add air purifiers, improve water quality or add equipment to make more nutritious lunches or something else that will improve the health quality of those using our schools? Are they considering the Liberty High athletic facilities? If there are actual existing health issues present, we shouldn't wait on the bond passing to fix them, we should fix them now. If the health issues language is misleading and there aren't actually any health issues being addressed then we should remove it from the bond language.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the logistics of those sports at Liberty that will either share facilities or combine with City and West? Driving at the speed limit, it is about a 20 minute drive from Liberty to either City or West, not considering traffic. Will there be busing provided for these activities or will Liberty students have to provide their own transportation if they want to participate? According to administration if the bond doesn't pass then everything in the FMP will be put on hold indefinitely and there is no back up plan at this time. I know that this is just apocalyptic rhetoric provided by the administration to instill fear. To me it just makes them look short sighted and incompetent not having some sort of plan for the needs of a new high school. Even if you choose not to have a plan you still need to consider the cost of not having a plan.

Anonymous said...

If the bond is supposed to address health and safety issues, does that mean a portion of the funds will be allocated toward figuring out an alternative to seclusion boxes?

Anonymous said...

There is something in that bond proposal for everyone to hate. Good job, ICCSD leadership. Kill it off with distrust of the smoke and mirrors approach.

Supt: "Well the voters will surely vote for it if we confuse them, right?"

Or not...a lot of people don't like the hostage situation language and may refuse the demands.

Anonymous said...

Anon April 12 11:22AM: "And if the past is any guide, the board could decide to close current Lincoln, build a new school in the north, call it Lincoln Elementary, and fully comply with the broad, vague ballot language."

You got that part right about school closures that carve the hearts out of our neighborhoods, but you left out the part where they funnel obscene amounts of our taxpayer money to their developer friends. And also the part where they give Murley ginormous raises.

Anonymous said...

This bond/FMP also does very little to relieve the significant overcrowding that will certainly occur in the Coralville and North Liberty elementary schools (and the junior highs there too most likely). This is because a deliberate choice was made to not take the many known, LARGE preliminary platted developments into account in the last set of enrollment projections which guided the final FMP upon which the bond is based. I've been told this is extremely poor practice to do in high growth areas like Coralville and North Liberty.

Whether the bond passes or fails, some small schools are almost certain to close, become paired schools, or be repurposed as preschool centers/other purposes. Why else are we building capacity where it is not needing by adding "art and music rooms" which is just a way to add capacity where otherwise there is no justification at all for it?

The district cannot afford to continue to operate nearly 1/3 of our elementary schools with capacities/enrollments of 250 students or less when we are routinely getting 0-2% supplemental state aid increases from the state. There are GOOD reasons why Cedar Rapids is proposing moving to all new schools with capacities of 600 seats each. Because in today's times, you need to be truly operationally efficient and that cannot be achieved with school sizes of 250 and less. The cost per student at these schools is simply too high with their low class sizes; especially when most of these small schools are wealthy schools that should have significantly higher class sizes under our WRAM model. This is completely unsustainable.

So whatever your bond vote decision is, and whatever the outcome of the bond vote is, plan on some schools being paired, closed, or repurposed. And plan on all these trailers that we are supposedly not going to need anymore, to be moved to schools in Coralville and North Liberty.

Anonymous said...

The district has never put out real operating cost of any schools. If it did, schools with older teachers or needy children would cost the most to run per student. And schools with high performing children with fewer resources would cost less than schools with high needs children.

Making decisions about children based on cost alone is bad and not what public schools are all about because then no one would help any needy children or employ older teachers.

There's a reason developers fund politicians, including school board candidates, and it isn't because its for the kids. Don't ask those of us who have been paying property taxes for years pay to have our schools demolished to fuel developer's greed.

Karen W said...

So far proposed GO bond language for approval on April 25th hasn't changed much except for addition of dedicated rooms for prekindergarten.

Tony said...

So why is there a question mark at the end of the GO bond statement?

As Karen mentioned above, the following is the only part that is different, not sure why they changed the order:

Previous:
...and dedicating rooms to science, music, and art by constructing...

New:
...and dedicating rooms to art, music, prekindergarten, and science by constructing...

Anonymous said...

Tony said "...not sure why they changed the order:..."

Me think that means art, music comez b4 signce. But me just a peasant.