Oklahoma City Public School error could cause $40M shortfall

BY DAWN MARKS Published: December 16, 2008
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photo - Oklahoma City School Superintendant Karl Springer tours Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, OK, during the first day of classes, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. By Paul Hellstern
Oklahoma City School Superintendant Karl Springer tours Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, OK, during the first day of classes, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. By Paul Hellstern
The Oklahoma City School Board should suspend some aspects of $248.4 million in bond projects voters approved last year because of misinformation presented to voters and a projected $40 million shortfall, the superintendent said.

Superintendent Karl Springer announced at Monday’s school board meeting that funding will fall $40 million short if the district continues promised projects.

Voters were told construction would take five years, but that won’t be possible because it will take 10 years to generate the $248.4 million, Springer said. Because of inflation, that would fall about $40 million short of the actual cost of the projects, he said.

"I believe that we need to be accountable,” Springer said. "We have discovered this problem before one cent has been misspent.”

Springer said he plans to come up with a series of bond issue proposals for board members to consider in an effort to take care of the projects that were to be funded by the 2007 bond and other projects.

The first proposition of the proposal was for $212 million to build 48 school gymnasiums and new classrooms across the district.

The second, third and fourth proposals were for $36.4 million for transportation, security and technology projects.

So far, $15.5 million in bonds for construction have been sold under the first proposition. Springer recommended that the board agree to not sell the remaining $196.5 million in bonds.

Springer also recommended that board members decide how best to spend that $15.5 million and continue as planned on $36.4 million in the other three propositions.