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Dr. Todd Frank: Vote no on BOLD bond issue

Letter writer urges vote no on BOLD bond issue

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Reader Opinion letter

I advocate for a well-rounded education and fiscal responsibility and also ask hard questions.

BOLD has an amazing group of staff educating our youth. Yes, it is the staff that educates, not the facility.

A 2016 publication in the Journal of Public Economics by Martorell, Stange, and McFariin studied 1,400 USA school bond referendums. They found “little evidence that these school capital campaigns improve student achievement.”

So, why spend $62.6 million on a new school facility? I will outline several reasons to vote no.

It is being fiscally irresponsible to spend about $100,000 per student on a new facility.

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Marketing statements promoting the bond lead us to believe our Olivia facility was all “built-in 1922.” This is misleading, as only 6 percent of the building currently in use was built in 1922.

In fact, 18 percent of the facility was built in 1999.

BOLD states we are at “75 percent utilization” and “implementation of any solution should have little to no impact on learning.”

BOLD has an existing infrastructure to modify and add onto that is a fiscally responsible avenue while preventing student learning disruption for half the cost.

We should spend a portion of the current request on facility needs, but apply money for direct education to students in our district to be fiscally responsible.

Finally, our school is only successful if the businesses in our community are financially stable.

Agriculture is the primary industry that supports our school. The agriculture economy is still not stable nor looks to be for several years.

Additionally, the Ag2School credit is being promoted to help fund the bond.

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Guess what, BOLD can still utilize this program with even a $20 million bond referendum.

Do not put this burden on our area businesses and farm landowners.

By pulling prime business property along U.S. Highway 212 off the tax roles to build this school near the hospital we hurt our tax base and take away accessible property along that highway for potential business development that could support our school district through taxes.

I encourage you to vote no on question 1 and question 2 for the Feb. 9 BOLD bond request.

Dr. Todd Frank

Olivia

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