Bond issue could help get city school district ‘to the next level'

By Wendy K. Kleinman Published: August 23, 2007

/> Bialis said he expects the group will need to spend more than $400,000 for the campaign.

"I don't think there is a ceiling on it because when you need to get 60 percent, that's a tough challenge,” he said.

Companies like Bialis' are important to the coalition because businesses depend on educated employees and because the city depends on a quality education system to attract new businesses, said J. Larry Nichols, chief executive of Devon Energy Corp. and chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, a partner in the Citizens for Kids campaign.

The bond issue would last about six years, and at that point, voters could expect to see another bond issue to keep funds flowing for continued maintenance and improvements, Hudson said.

Time is right
The group hopes the bond issue will keep up the momentum that MAPS for Kids infused into the district.

Cornett said much has changed since 2001 when MAPS for Kids began.

He said the city has placed a higher priority on education, teachers are more likely to want to work in the district, and the school board's audits have been clean and its reputation improved.

Hudson added that new schools have been built, others have been renovated, alternative school programs were expanded and standardized test scores have gone up.

"If you think you can or you think you can't, you're probably right,” Cornett said.

"This is a district that (went from one that) thinks it can't to a district that thinks it can. This is a district of great optimism.

"These are the types of projects we think will get the district to the next level, and we need your vote.”

What would $248.3 million buy Oklahoma City Public Schools?
50 more classrooms

47 gyms across the district to accommodate growth

New school buses

New heating and air

conditioning systems Technology and safety initiatives

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