Consider facts on levy referendum

Published 11:03 am Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Regarding the upcoming vote on the school bond referendum for Austin Public School District 492, I encourage voters to please consider the following points:

  • Due to increasing enrollment, the needs of the district are real and require short- and long-term solutions.
  • A number of options (including the vacant K-Mart building) were explored by a citizens’ committee on how to best meet the space needs of the district and at what cost.
  • The proposed 5-6 facility is an innovative and cost-effective way of addressing the space problems at the elementary schools and Ellis Middle School.
  • The Hormel Foundation has committed $110,000 to purchase the land for the new 5-6 facility contingent upon passage of the bond referendum.
  • Of the $28.9 million in the proposed bond referendum, $20 million of that has already been on the tax rolls since 1992 when district voters approved that amount of money to renovate the high school and elementary schools.
  • The school board has indicated a willingness to implement a STEM program at the 5-6 school that would put extra emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.
  • A number of positive things have been done in the district to address the needs of students and to provide opportunities to learn needed skills to compete in an ever-changing world.

Please vote on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Thanks.

David C. Ruzek

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