Shawnee voters to decide SPS Student Investment Plan Aug. 25

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
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Voters will decide Tuesday, Aug. 25, whether to pass a Shawnee Public Schools Student Investment plan totaling $18.125 million, which was rescheduled from April 7 due to COVID-19. 

According to Superintendent Dr. April Grace, the investment plan is made up of two bond issue propositions, with one being $16,925,000 for school site improvements and the other being $1.2 million for transportation.

Grace said the Student Investment Plan includes buses and other student transportation, HVAC and roofing repair or replacement (district-wide), elementary site improvements, technology infrastructure and equipment, improved parking at multiple sites including  Sequoyah, Horace Mann and Shawnee High School softball field area, safety and security enhancements (upgraded Integrated Camera Systems), additional uniforms and equipment, upgraded A/V tech at Performing Arts & Athletic Center, new turf and PA system at Jim Thorpe Stadium, Ag trailer and equipment, softball chair back section and one set of four new retention concrete tennis courts at SHS.

“Without a Student Investment Plan, the district cannot provide students with better security, improved technology and infrastructure, athletic and performing arts upgrades or other necessities such as heat, air and roof repairs,” Grace said.  

The administrator said to pass, the bond issue needs a 60 percent supermajority vote. If it does not pass, however, Grace said the district will continue to fix any major maintenance issues.

“These temporary band-aid solutions will only lead to growing structural issues across the district and much higher costs for taxpayers in the future,” Grace said.

In addition, Grace said the average homeowner in Shawnee’s I-93 school district would pay approximately $3 more per month or $36 per year in property taxes if the bond issues are passed.

Due to the election being rescheduled, Grace said the Oklahoma State Election board has made changes to its absentee ballot procedures and deadlines for people to vote.

“The last day to register to vote for the Student Investment Plan is July 31. The deadline for requesting an absentee ballot is 5 p.m. Aug. 18,” Grace said. “You may vote early at the Pottawatomie County Election Board Aug. 20 and 21 from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day, and Saturday, Aug. 22, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.”

Grace said regular voting will be Aug. 25 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at local polling stations. 

For more information regarding the Student Investment Plan or changes made to absentee voting procedures visit Student Investment Plan Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Oklahoma State Election Board - Absentee_Voter_Verification.