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Shawnee’s $18.125 million bond issues fail to get 60 percent supermajority

Elisabeth Slay
The Shawnee News-Star
Bethel passes bond issue.

Bond issues totaling $18.125 million for Shawnee Public Schools failed to pass with the required 60 percent supermajority in Tuesday’s election, with over 2,500 people voting in the election. 

According to Superintendent Dr. April Grace, even though the bonds did not pass, she appreciates the community. 

“First, we appreciate all those who supported us in this effort to continue improving our facilities for our students. Of course, we are disappointed with the final results,” Grace said. 

The administrator said the bond issues needed a 60 percent supermajority vote. 

According to the Oklahoma Election Board results, Proposition 1 received 1,477 people or 57.61 percent voting yes and 1,087 people or 42.39 percent voting no. 

In Proposition 2, 1,460 people or 56.79 percent voted yes and 1,111 or 43.21 percent voted no. 

Despite the bond issues being rejected by voters, Grace said the district will continue to make necessary site improvements to better the learning environments for Shawnee students.

“We knew it would be tough being on the ballot with these heated primary runoffs. We will be back at it tomorrow serving our students and the community,” Grace said.

Grace said the Student Investment Plan would have greatly benefit students and teachers as the years progress. 

“Every project in the 2020 plan is an effort to make our schools safer and better equipped to serve the children of Shawnee,” Grace said. 

Grace said the Student Investment Plan was made up of two propositions, with one being $16,925,000 for school site improvements and the other being $1.2 million for transportation.

The Student Investment Plan, Grace said included 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.

Grace said if the bond had passed, the average homeowner in Shawnee’s I-93 school district would have paid approximately $3 more per month or $36 per year in property taxes. 

Overall, Grace said the district will continue to move forward and will continue to provide the best education it can for the students of Shawnee. 

 “We will stay focused on Every Wolf, Every Day,” Grace said. “We appreciate everyone in the community that supports us each and every day. It’s an honor to serve Shawnee Public Schools.”