Minot Reacts to Rejected Bond Vote - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Minot Reacts to Rejected Bond Vote

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Regroup and refocus.  Those were the words of Minot Public School staff members, a day after residents voted down the $125 million bond issue that would have funded the construction of new schools and improved several other existing buildings.

"We had a lower voter turnout than we had hoped.  That was a little disappointing. But at the end of the day, the election results are in, and we're back to the drawing board," says Superintendent Mark Vollmer, Minot Public Schools.  The bond issue failed to hit the 60 percent mark it needed to pass.  After ballots were collected, there were just 4,340 votes in favor, to 4,349 against.

Just like the vote, community reaction was split.  "It didn't take the wind out of our sails.  We're going to keep going.  The problem still remains in our schools, they're overcrowded, and students are being taught in unconventional spaces. And it's not acceptable," says parent Megan Grundstrom.

Grundstrom says it would've been great to pass the bond vote yesterday and continue to move forward with expansion plans, but some Minot residents felt that there should've been more options to choose from, and that prices were just too high. 

"An $80 Million high school is well above the national average.  It's well above the average not only nationally, but within the region of states where we are.  It's well above what has been spent there," says parent Jonah Lantto.

When the numbers were released, people took to social media to share their opinions with statements like, "My child will get as good of an education in the existing schools as they would have had if this ridiculous bond had passed," and,  "I live on a fixed income, how many more taxes can I afford before I loose my house."

However, the Minot Public School system says the challenges haven't gone away.  Redistricting could be an option. 

"We're probably going to have to look at shifting boundaries for the schools and where the students go to, to best utilize our facilities," explains Jim Rostad, President of the Minot Public School board. 

Legally, Minot Public Schools must wait three months to propose another bond issue.  It will take time to regroup and reassess. 

"This is a process.  It's a process that will continue, and we'll continue to work on it until we see that portable classrooms in our district are the exception, and not the rule," says Vollmer.

Even though the bond issue didn't pass, the Minot Public School board still plans to ask for more property tax relief, that would help not just Minot residents with possible future school bonds, but ut also other communities with similar growing pains, at the 2015 legislative session.

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