Six Oklahoma school districts will have bond propositions on the Nov. 9 special election ballot, and the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education will present a proposition to annex the Mangum Public Schools District into the Southwest Technology Center District.
According to state law, bond propositions must receive a supermajority of at least 60 percent of the vote in order to be approved.
Below is a summary of election propositions affecting public school districts in the state. For a full list of all jurisdictions participating in the Nov. 9 special election, visit the Oklahoma State Election Board.
Mangum Public Schools
Mangum Public Schools, in Greer County, is not currently part of a career technology center. However, during a special meeting of the State Board of Career and Technology Education on July 27, board members approved a resolution requesting an election be called for the annexation of Mangum Schools into the Southwest Technology Center District.
Approval of the proposition would allow a partnership between the school district and the SWTC for high school students to take courses. Residents within the Mangum Schools district would also be able to take courses at SWTC at a reduced tuition rate.
Yukon Public Schools
The largest of the Nov. 9 school bond issues will be determined by voters in the Yukon Public Schools district, which has two propositions totaling about $194.2 million on the ballot. According to the district website, the bond issues will not cause an increase to property taxes but will extend an increased rate from a prior bond issuance.
Situated in Canadian County, Yukon Schools is seeking voter approval for a $189.2 million bond issue for the construction of a new performing arts center, college and career center and indoor activity center. The funds will also be used for renovations to the elementary school and playground, renovations to the district’s transportation facility, expansion of the high school commons and other district-wide renovations and updates.
The second proposition requests about $5 million for district transportation.
Laverne Public Schools
Laverne Public Schools, in Harper, Beaver and Ellis counties, will ask voters to approve an approximately $14.2 million bond issue to construct a multi-purpose facility with a safe room to replace the district’s aging physical education building. The district would also use the bond proceeds for sports stadium improvements, including a new press box, concession area, restroom renovations and other upgrades.
The bond issue would be expected to increase local property taxes by about 38.57 percent, which has garnered push-back from some community members. An October post on the Laverne Public Schools Facebook page about the bond election drew mixed feedback from commenters.
One comment on the post reads, “Our ‘school leaders’ apparently don’t realize what a strain this will put on the people of this community that already have problem meeting ends. And those people who are struggling are the majority.”
However, the Facebook post also drew comments in support of the bond proposal.
“One of the main reasons we moved to Laverne was for the school system and the community support,” another comment reads. “As a homeowner, land owner and investor in the Laverne area, I look forward to seeing how I can make a positive impact in the community so that my children will have a place to come back if they so choose.”
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 4, Laverne Public Schools will hold an open meeting for community members to hear more about the bond issue from school officials, the bond advisor, architect and construction manager. The meeting will be held in Shackelford Hall Auditorium.
Flower Mound, Colcord, Blackwell and Pocaola Public Schools
Flower Mound Public School, a pre-K through fifth-grade school in Comanche County with a 2020-2021 enrollment of 330 students, is asking voters to approve a $2 million bond proposition for the construction of an early childhood center.
In Delaware County, Colcord Public Schools will present a $6.8 million bond issue to voters, with funds planned to be used to remodel the district’s middle school, renovate the district’s elementary school to include a community storm shelter, construct an addition to the vocational agriculture building and other renovations.
Blackwell Public Schools, in Kay County, will have a $23.5 million bond issue on the ballot for renovations to the high school, middle school, auditorium, band and vocal rooms, vocational agriculture building, football facilities and roofing repair. If approved, the bond issue is expected to raise property taxes by 11.88 percent.
Pocola Public Schools, in LeFlore County, will ask voters to approve two bond propositions. The first proposition, for $600,000, wold be used for renovations and repairs to existing school sites and football, softball and baseball fields. The second proposition requests $500,000 to acquire transportation for the district.