North Boone School Referendum

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

On the November 7th ballot, North Boone School District 200 will ask voters for its seventh referendum request since March 2000. So why is the district going back to the voters for lucky number seven?
North Boone is the 78th fastest growing county in the entire United States. That means more and more students are flooding into the district's overcrowded schools.
The upcoming referendum will ask voters to approve the sale of ten million dollars in bonds. The sale would produce about eighteen million dollars to pay for 44 new classrooms and increase the district's capacity from around 1,700 students to 3,500.
Residents will pay off the bond payments over the next 20 years, similar to the process of a homeloan. North Boone School Superintendent Michael Houselog says because the district's population is growing so much, the payments will be spread out over enough people that there will be no need to increase taxes. In fact he said one year from now, someone living in a $100,000 homes should see taxes drop $14 a year.
Five of the last six referendums asking for funds to expand the district's schools have failed. Superintendent Houselog says the district will have to make damaging cuts if this one does not pass.
"What troubles us the most is that so many of these programs that we've added that have helped increase test scores, have helped increase educational opportunities for kids may be the first things to go," Houselog says.
The district has seven percent more students this year than last and counting. There are expected to be 5,100 new homes built in the area in the next decade. Superintendent Houselog says that will mean referendum number eight and beyond.


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