Oklahoma City school district needs regular bond issue plan

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: March 28, 2013

Before MAPS for Kids, Oklahoma City voters hadn't approved a school bond issue since 1993. The idea of dedicating a sales tax to schools was pretty new and viewed largely as a one-time fix for a very large problem. We can't imagine that those who helped craft MAPS for Kids envisioned a six-year gap between bond issue proposals. Of course, not just any bond issue will do. A poorly thought out plan isn't appreciably better than no plan at all.

But after all these years, the district should develop at least the beginnings of a routine bond issue schedule. The new buildings constructed under MAPS for Kids will eventually need costly maintenance — if they don't already. And the district's older buildings aren't getting any less expensive to maintain. One school board member recently questioned the age of the district's bus fleet.

MAPS for Kids was a major financial investment and leap of faith for a city hopeful its school system would improve. Part of that implied contract with voters is to properly maintain the investment. Given the district's size and sheer number of buildings, school bond issues aren't optional. A six-year schedule seems entirely too infrequent to keep pace with the needs.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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