Upcoming bond referendum will make a positive impact on the district

Brianna Carmack, Opinions Editor

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USD 383 has been in a slump for a while now. With this upcoming bond referendum, that could all change. New tennis courts, a new elementary school and the expansion of Manhattan High will fix most of our problems our district is facing right now.

As the student population continues to increase, the slump that the district and community is in right now will also continue to grow. But, if there is something that will be done to fix the overcrowding and major safety issues we currently have then we, as a community, can prevent the downfalls our district is facing.

It is the agreement of The Mentor editorial board that the bond referendum could have many positive effects. However, we feel that the referendum should not be an all-or-nothing deal.

With 2008 being the year of the last bond referendum, many things have changed in the last decade, one being the rapidly growing population of students. According to the USD 383 PowerPoint presentation, there has been an increase of 1,334 PreK-12 students since the last referendum. In addition, this sudden boost has not only caused an issue of overcrowding, but creates an unsafe environment for this many students to be in. Better security would have a greater impact than most students would think. It is important that living in an era where mass shootings and attacks on schools are becoming a normal thing, we always need to be protected and secure.

An expected 2,179 square feet has been decided to expand West Campus. This would be applicable in the sense that the ninth graders would be able to move up to the west campus, and the freshman busing system would conclude. Overcrowding is still always going to be a possibility since class sizes are increasing, but it definitely would not be as bad as it is today.

Classroom sizes are also an issue, especially in elementary schools. This year, some of the class sizes have 30+ students, and when there are that many students it’s difficult for a teacher to meet the individual needs of each one. If sixth graders were moved to the middle schools, up to 20 open classes will be free in the elementary schools, making more room for students.

A big issue was brought up last year about parking and new tennis courts. The referendum states the wants of expanding the lots and re-doing the old, deteriorated courts. Last year, the tennis team struggled with hosting events because the school courts and City Park courts are inadequate for hosting a meet. There are not only improvements to expanding the schools, but also improvements for the needs of our athletic program.

In order to be able to fund for these wants and needs, slightly raised taxes are going to occur, which is what people are most upset about. There are some low income families who can’t fully support the higher tax rate, and with it being about 20 to 25 years until they get some of that interest principle back, most families aren’t willing to commit since there children won’t be here in 20 to 25 years.

Overall, the bond referendum proposes many positive impacts on the district. This matters because it is the future of our education, so we should work on making it better. Manhattan is going to keep growing, and it’s best if we begin early to make it a better place.

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