Monday the Newton USD 373 Board of Education will be asked to make at least one decision about a possible bond issue. They could be asked to make several.
They will be asked, first and foremost, if they believe there is enough need demonstrated in current facilities to pursue a bond issue. They could be asked to set a timeline for that bond issue. They could even be asked how much money they intend to spend.
There are so many unknowns about this right now — all of those unknowns surround Walton Rural Life Center. According to documentation given the board, four options sit in front of the board. Two of those options keep a school located in Walton. Two do not. All four state the the educational program, funded by a charter grant, will continue regardless of where a building is located.
But where that school is located, and how much will be spent on that school, is a big issue. It is one that, in our view, must be resolved before the board can create a dollar figure for a bond.
Documentation given the board shows they could move forward with a bond issue election as quickly as May — we do not anticipate that the board will move that quickly. We also believe they should not even consider moving that quickly. There are too many big decisions needing made, decisions that should take a little bit of time to make. For one, a demographer hired by the district needs to finish their work.
Walton is the lynchpin in this issue. The decision made about Walton changes every bit of the bond effort.
And it is a decision, we believe, needs to have a little more time and information gathered to make.
We have no problem with the board deciding to move forward with further investigation of a bond — and, depending on a date they set, even setting a date to move forward (hint: it needs to be, at minimum, several months in the future).
— Kansan Editorial Board