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Home arrow Opinion arrow Editorials arrow Pass a smaller bond first

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Pass a smaller bond first

Baker Middle School facilities have been the topic of many meetings and discussions in the last two years.

But it comes to this: the school district has only until this Thursday to determine the scope of a bond measure and file to have that measure put on the Nov. 7 ballot.

Back in March, only 28 percent of people surveyed said they would support a $10.5 million bond measure to build a new school, and 24 percent said they would support the same sized bond to remodel the existing buildings.

Since that time, the task force and school board have done more due diligence, asking for specific architectural plans and real costs on a new middle school building. The proposal for a bond measure that emerged last week is $19.8 million.

Given the lack of the time to sell the value of this new proposal to voters, and the lack of support shown in the survey for a $10.5 million bond measure, let alone one nearly double that size, we think the solution is clear: stick to the opportunities identified in the survey.

A clear majority of voters polled said they wanted to upgrade the district's five elementary schools and that the district should accelerate those efforts.

The survey did not ask if voters would support a bond just for those tasks.

But we suspect a $1 million bond — the amount included for elementary schools in the $19.8 million figure — has a better chance of passing muster this November than the larger figure.

And nothing succeeds like success. An electoral victory Nov. 7, followed by showing voters the kinds of results the distict can realize with their tax money, would increase the odds of passing a bond levy as a solution to the middle school question in the future.

It would also give the district time to continue its course of due diligence in gathering good and accurate information — and public support — to sell a bond measure proposal to voters.

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