School board discusses defeat of bond
BALDWIN — During the Baldwin Community Schools Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, board members and administration weighed in on the defeat of the school bond proposal which came before voters last week.
Discussion of the failure of the school bond proposal was placed on the agenda to determine what happened to result in the failure and steps which could be taken in the future if a bond proposal comes before voters again.
School Board President Shawn Washington shared her thoughts about what went wrong and what to shoot for.
“I think the push for no taxation was a big contributing factor to the failure of the bond,” she said. “At first I was discouraged the bond failed, but now I see it giving us another opportunity to engage people, cast our nets wider and present factual information. This is an opportunity to regroup and engage people.
The Say Yes campaign needs to continue. Even though we are a school of choice, we still capture 66 percent of the population.
“I think we should go for the school bond again. The needs don’t go away. The needs are real. As a school district we give our students a lot of opportunities such as having band, sports and drivers training paid for. We do what we can without asking the community for help.”
Simmons suggested more information about school funding would be helpful in the future if the school board decides to have another school bond election. He also added if board members decide to go forward with a school bond proposal in the November election, they need to get more community input about what should be included in the bond.
“There was a lot of misinformation going around about school funding during this past election, what the school should or cannot do with its funds,” he said. “The general fund is used for insurance, in cases of emergencies and additional resources for students, not to replace roofing systems. That is what bonds are for.
“We need to help folks understand general operating dollars and why bonds are necessary. Once people understand what we can use money for, it can give people a bigger picture. It is important we communicate that.”