Flying solo, OKC school district could have tough time selling bond issue idea

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: November 21, 2012
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Work from MAPS for Kids is winding down. Bond issues are critical to maintaining that investment. Progress isn't as obvious on the 2007 bond work, which got off to a painfully slow start.

The public will expect an accounting of the last two bond issues before it bites on another. But the looming question is much the same as it was in the pre-MAPS for Kids days: Does the public trust the school district and its leaders to properly manage a bond issue?

The value of the city's management safety net can't be overstated. For more than a decade, the school district has necessarily borrowed the city's reputation and credibility to gain the confidence of voters. Timing also is important. Three board seats — District 1, District 2 and the chairmanship — are up for election in February.

No matter the value or necessity of projects the school district might propose, a bond issue without the city safety net would be a referendum on public confidence. This conversation has to happen eventually. Here's what we already know: History tells us the likelihood of the school district successfully courting voters for a school bond issue is far from a sure thing.

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