Resources to help you keep up with the Columbia Public Schools bond issue

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | 6:23 p.m. CDT; updated 11:37 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We've noticed a lot of conversation in our comments section surrounding the Columbia Public School District bond issue, particularly air conditioning in public schools.

As of Sept. 1, the district will have had early dismissal for seven of its schools three times this year because of high temperatures. The schools being dismissed do not have air conditioning, which is one of the projects the district said will be included in the bond issue voters approved in 2010.

To help you stay up to speed on what projects are included in the bond issue, we've compiled some past coverage and references:

Recent news

  • As explained in an Aug. 25 Missourian article, the district originally planned to use the bond issue to fund the installation of air conditioners in the eight schools that needed it. Because it can only borrow so much at one time, the district will use the revenue brought in by the tax levy adjustment to help fund air conditioning in hopes of moving the project along more quickly. Belcher said he hopes it will be completed by 2013.

March 2010 coverage of the bond issue

  • The bond issue revenue is meant to fund more than air conditioning. Money will go toward capital projects such as building maintenance, parking lots, construction of new schools and computer and network updates. To see how much money will be allocated to each project, take a look at this pie chart.
  • A bond issue is different than a tax levy, and one does not lead directly to the other. A bond issue, by law, can only fund construction, renovations, technology expenses, furniture and equipment, according to a March 2010 Missourian article. Levies are used to finance the day-to-day maintenance and operation of schools.

Aug. 31 Columbia Heartbeat post

  • As a part of his coverage of the topic, Columbia Heartbeat editor Mike Martin has shared his own views and posted a letter from Jack Jensen, formerly an assistant superintendent for elementary education for the district. Jensen's letter has some valuable information clarifying how the tax levy revenue differs from the bond issue revenue and how the district gets money from selling bonds. The district does not sell all the bonds at once, and thus it does not get all the revenue at once either.

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