Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 24, 2008

Officials detail proposed school bond issue, sales tax

According to school and city officials, both proposals are a continuation of similar plans set to expire soon.

(Continued)

TAHLEQUAH DAILY PRESS —

He indicated the committee would meet again during the first two weeks in December.

As it stands now, the committee identified a number of areas needing attention, including transportation and buses.

“The number-one priority for the bond money is busing and transportation,” said Goodsell. “We would allocate $1,280,000 of the $5.2 million of the bond to purchase new route buses, activity buses and handicap transportation.”

Goodsell said he’d heard some grumbling about the need for activity buses, but that the district desperately needs them.

“For instance, in 2007-’08, activity trips alone, and that doesn’t include the national trips requiring charters or any single athletic team from the seventh grade up, the district used 306 regular route buses and 161 other vehicles to transport students,” said Goodsell. “Now, think about all the of football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, and softball games. The tennis matches, the track meets. That’s a lot of transportation need. One-third of our fuel costs is expended in activities.”

Goodsell said the district recently spent $605 sending the football team, cheerleaders, pom squad, and a pared-down pep band to the game at East Central, which required eight buses and two Suburban.

“It was East Central’s Senior Night, so our full band didn’t even get to play, which meant we didn’t send a bus of equipment that normally would have had to travel,” said Goodsell. “If we had activity buses, we could completely eliminate the need for an equipment bus, as everything fits in the belly of the bus that transports the students. We can essentially cut costs in half.”

Tahlequah School Board member Tony Boyle said it would ultimately be up to the public to decide whether to pass one, both or neither of the measures.

“We’ve beat this thing to death,” said Boyle. “The committee, which is made up of patrons, not the school board, are the ones who came up with a list of needs. It’s our job to let the people decide to support it.”

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