The future of millions of dollars for area schools is in hands of voters. Voters across northeast Oklahoma head to the polls today and they'll decide on a number of school bonds issues.
From Stilwell to Cushing, Inola to Verdigris, today's vote could have a significant impact on growing school districts.
That impact is especially important to students and administrators in Jenks, Bixby and Broken Arrow school districts. Combined they have more than $102-million in bond packages on the ballot.
Bixby, Broken Arrow and Jenks schools have been successful at raising money for schools. At issue for them today, is whether to approve a new athletic complex, swimming pool, and construction on a new elementary school.
Broken Arrow has the most at stake. Residents will vote on three years of school improvements valued at more than $48-million. $15-million will go to build a new fourth and fifth grade center. School officials say students are currently crammed in classrooms and portables buildings.
Instructors are even forced to tutor in the hallway. Keith Isbell is Director of Communications at Broken Arrow Schools. He says the district needs the money for elementary classroom space. "Our growth in the north portion of our district is really taxing our facilities. We have 865 students attending Liberty, which was a school to house about 650."
Isbell says if the bond is approved the tax rate would stay the same because of BA's growing community.
In Oklahoma, school bond elections require a 60-percent or supermajority approval.