SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Springfield voters have decided to not approve a $189-million bond to improve schools and tear down older buildings.
With 100% of precincts reporting to the Greene County Clerk's office, the bond issue had 51% yes, 49% no. The bond needed 57% of the vote to pass.
The bond would have increased of $46 in property taxes for every $100,000 they owned in property for the next two years.
The money would have gone towards constructing new buildings, purchasing land and demolishing existing buildings, improving, repairing, renovating and acquiring buildings, including technology improvements, and furnishing and equipping school buildings.
Ralph Plank is a former school board member. "We want to advocate that the district look at keeping existing neighborhood schools and middle schools and renovating them and upgrading them and come back with another bond and we can support it."
Supporter Morey Mechlin, a member of Quality Schools for Kids, watched the issue fall short. "I think that's a loss for our community. But I have great faith. I look at Springfield Public Schools and the administration and our educators. They will continue to do their very best. But as a community I will be disappointed."
Dr. John Jungmann, Springfield Public Schools Superintendent said, "We have a lot of significantly aging facilities. Over 78% of our schools are 50 years or older. Part of our strategic plan is to make sure that we are providing an equitable opportunity for all students to learn and part of our strategy is making sure that we have great facilities."
Opponents of Proposition SPS argued that if the bond proposal passes, there will be issues of overcrowding, lower test scores, and the loss of schools that are the heart of neighborhoods.
The "Save R-12 Schools Committee" campaigned against the bond issue. Group members say they would rather see neighborhood schools renovated and repaired.
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