Community meetings will inform on referendum

This month I’m bringing you up-to-date related to our upcoming bond referendum on May 20, 2014.

As you remember from previous news, we had many community members involved in Criteria Committee meetings and the Options Committee, as they reviewed our district’s facilities. The process led us to our current bond referendum package. These committees were the culmination of many years of discussion and concern from our School Board.

This referendum is for the purpose of constructing, renovating and equipping facilities. These funds cannot be used for salaries or other operational costs. Similar to a mortgage, the bonds will be repaid over time.

Mobile classrooms have allowed us to function as a district. Every second-grader attends in portable classrooms for the year. The portable classrooms have encroached on play areas, as well as for high school fields for practice and classes. Having portable classrooms has posed logistical challenges and eroded instructional time as students go in and out for services. Whenever there are thunderstorms or tornado warnings, the principal is on high alert, deciding if the students need to come to the main South Elementary building for safety. This is not a good situation for our students.

We are excited about moving forward to ask our community to support the bond referendum, which will include replacing South Elementary, improving and updating our High School, and K-12 safety and security improvements for every building in our district. The School Board has expressed confidence that the time is right to move forward to meet the demonstrated need. They looked at the proposal to determine that it is educationally sound and financially prudent.

The School District’s role is to provide the information that you need to make an informed decision about what is best for children. To assist you in making an educated vote, Referendum Central has been created to provide accurate, up-to-date information for our families, community, students and staff. Referendum Central can be accessed by clicking the button on the home page of the District website. You will find many useful documents there, as well as a tax impact calculator.

In addition, I encourage you to attend one of the scheduled community meetings, related to the bond referendum:

• Princeton Library, 7 p.m. Monday, April 14.

• Princeton School District Board Room,   5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 6.

If you know of any group that would like a presentation, or an opportunity to ask questions, call 763-389-184.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and thank you in advance for your efforts in becoming informed on this important community issue.