By Izzy Pankey
As we dive into the new year, Jenks Public Schools is working on the new 2020 bond and finding ways to improve our school system. This bond vote is set for Tuesday, February 11th, where the district is requesting 12.4 million dollars, and your vote matters. But, walking into that voting booth, what are you actually voting for? A school bond essentially gives the district permission to borrow money from outside investors. The district gets cash in the short term and agrees to pay off the money over a longer period of time. Bond dollars keep the district running by funding materials that support Jenks’ growing population. The district needs permission to borrow money, however, and this is where your vote comes in. The school holds a vote annually; this year, the bond money would provide the following:
Equipment: Items such as whiteboards, projectors, art supplies, science equipment, and classroom furniture will be included in this bond.
Facilities Management Equipment/Repairs: Funding for this part of the pond will go towards roof repair, intercom/electrical repairs, sidewalk improvements, carpeting, cabinetry, painting, plumbing repairs, and HVAC repairs and replacements.
Printing Improvements: Repairs, upgrades, and replacements for printers, copiers, and scanners will be funded by this bond.
Safety Improvements: Fire alarms, fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency generators, radio systems, safety vestibules and equipment, security cameras, safe building entrances, and more are ways funding for this bond will keep JPS safe.
Technology: Additions such as telecommunications equipment, electronic devices, infrastructure cabling, and network, servers, television monitors, wireless access points, computer software and hardware, and more are ways this bond will keep JPS technologically advanced.
Media Equipment & Textbooks: This bond will fund new students’ textbooks, library books, media center equipment and software, and more.
Transportation: Buses and other vehicles the district uses for student transportation will be funded with money from this bond.
Classroom/Instructional Space: As more students come to the school district, more classroom space is needed in order to allow this growth. As enrollment comes around the corner, the district will be watching where the majority of people are coming in and where they need to use funds to add classrooms. This funding will be set aside and delegated to where classroom space is most necessary.
Freshman Academy Renovation & Upgrades: The Jenks High School Freshman Academy construction is already underway from last year’s bond, but the building still needs work. Rob Loeber, Jenks Public School Director of Communications, explains that “It is an aging site, and it is in need of renovations to keep up with growth and to enhance the learning environment.” This part of the bonds funding can be thought of as going towards “Phase II” of the Freshman Academy renovations.
As the vote approaches soon, remember that every vote counts and that the bond needs at least 60% of the vote in order to pass. Jenks is a growing community and this bond allows for the students in our small town to learn in the best way possible. This vote “will not raise taxes above traditional levels” according to Jenks Public Schools. Don’t forget voting is on Tuesday, February 11th, and your vote really matters.