Interior Taxpayers Association
Information from Newspaper Ad on the May 2, 2000 Special Election
We are pretty much facing the same bond issues again in 2002, so we are showing you what we wrote about them in 2000. A word to the wise!
(School Bond Proposition)
ITA Takes a look at the Bond Proposition
Where have all the Children gone?(graph) Using the school district's own numbers, from the year 1998 through 2000, our school district will be reduced by 1768 students - equal to four 400-student schools! It is as important to prepare financially for decreases in enrollment, as it is to plan for increases. The sad truth is that it is entirely probable that we will be forced to close some of our schools because the state contributes financially on a per student basis. The loss of this many students will mean the loss of multi-millions of dollars in funding. The really unfortunate part is that it will probably be the smaller schools in the outlying areas that will be the first ones to hit the chopping block. We do not intend this statement as a "scare tactic," but present it because it is reality. (picture of Hutch)
Where has all the Voc-Ed gone?The one redeeming item on this ballot might be the Hutchison Career Center, which, if this package fails, you can expect to return on the October ballot as a stand-alone proposition. Another thing that we feel is very disturbing is that when North Pole High School was built, it had a "state of the art" Voc. Ed. center. The school district chose to gut the program (equipment was moved or sold off) and now they are asking us to bond $1.5 million to restore it, just as they are now asking for $14,000,000.00. to restore the voc ed program at Hutchison Career Center that they themselves gutted! If you vote NO now, you should have the opportunity to vote on most of the items as separate issues in the fall election.
Where have all the buildings gone?
Photo of Nordale - $7.5 million
Our current mayor and assembly, along with our school board, are telling us that these two schools are falling apart and our children are playing on unsafe playground equipment. Yet just a few years ago, our then borough mayor stated "Our older schools have a reputation for being the best maintained schools in the state."The borough values the above two buildings at $16 million. With the decline in enrollment and state funding, does it make any sense to destroy these structures? We all want what is best for our children, but at what cost? It is a wise parent who stops to consider the financial burden that such a debt would place on these youngsters' futures? The actual construction cost of the two new schools is estimated to be $18.5 million. Why then are we being asked to bond for $29.3 million? We at ITA are definitely not opposed to good schools. But as always, in looking out for the taxpayers, we feel that people should get the best possible deal for their hard earned dollars. We do not feel that this bond package does that.
Where has all the money gone?We feel it only prudent to ask how some of the money from the last bond issue was spent. Here is just some of the duplication we found:
|Year authorized||Project Name||Issue||State Reimbursement Rate|
to 8 schools
|1985||Alternative Junior/Senior High School||80%|
|1985||Lathrop High School Physical Education Addition||$5,538,000.00||80%|
|1985||One elementary school plus districtwide repairs||80%|
|1987||Renovation and/or additions to Joy, University Park, Hunter, Birch and Two Rivers Elementary Schools Hunter, Birch and Two Rivers Elementary Schools||$16,000,000.00||80%|
|1993||Early retirement of a portion of Series P,Q, and R||$42,615,000.00||80-90%|
|1996||School and 1996 School Facilities Projects, Phase I||$16,320,000.00||70%|
|1997||to Noel Wien Library||$35,250,000||70%|
|1999||district-wide technology upgrades to school facilities||$26,210,000.00||70%|
|Total for Schools and library||$168,508,000.00|
|Requested for this year||$57,000,000.00|
Our school district is totally out of control. There is no policy, no consistency, no long term planning. They bond to build, tear down and gut programs, then bond to put the same ones back again. We and our future generations will be faced with the responsibility of paying for this travesty. How much of this fun can our children afford?
Paid for by The
Interior Taxpayers' Association, Inc. PO Box 71892, Fairbanks AK 99707,