Bond Proposal Questions and Answers

Q: What is a bond election?
A: A bond election is a community vote on whether to give a school district permission to borrow money to make improvements. Just like people might take out a mortgage to buy a house, school districts borrow money for construction, renovation, equipment, buses, etc., and then repay that money over time. Most school districts in Oklahoma and across the nation use bonds to pay for needed improvements.

Q: Will this bond proposal increase my property taxes?
A: No. There is no tax increase associated with this bond proposal.

Q: If voters approve this bond proposal, when will we start seeing improvements?
A: If voters approve the bond proposal, funding for improvements will start in early 2018. and the improvements themselves will follow.  

Q: When did we last vote on a bond proposal?
A: In August 2014 Putnam City voters approved a $120 million bond proposal comprised of 170 items intended to increase student safety, maintain and improve school buildings, ensure that students attend classes in well-equipped learning environments and strengthen school communities.

Q: Can bond funds be used to pay teacher salaries?
A: No. By law, bond funds can only be used for purposes such as building construction or renovation, purchase of equipment, technology and textbooks and purchase of buses. Bond funds may never be used for salaries.

Q: Why can’t we use lottery money to pay for improvements?
A: In November 2004 Oklahoma voters approved State Questions 705 and 706; which authorized and created the lottery in Oklahoma. In months leading up to the election, then Gov. Brad Henry was quoted as saying “My lottery proposal guarantees that every new dollar generated for the schools is money on top of the existing education budget." The common understanding at the time was that school districts would have new funding to tackle needs and issues they faced. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. State officials say the state legislature in 2005 voted to make lottery funds part of the general funding of Oklahoma schools and then dedicated the funds to specific purposes. “The lottery really cannot be considered to be extra money,” State Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Janet Baressi was quoted as saying.

Q: Voters will see two propositions on the ballot on election day. Why?
A: State law requires that bond proposals for school buses be voted on separately from proposals for school building and instructional improvements. That means voters will see two propositions on which to vote. Proposition 1 will be a vote on all but one item in the bond proposal, leaving Proposition 2 as a vote on the other item: funding to purchase about 20 new school buses.

Q: What happens if the bond proposal is not approved by voters?
A: If the bond election is not successful, funds to provide these improvements will not be available.