Fox Schools face financial dilemma

By: Dara Downs Email
By: Dara Downs Email

FOX, OK - Fox Public Schools attempted to pass a school bond last November to help pay for excess cost from improvement projects to several buildings on campus, but the bond didn't get the needed super majority approval and failed. Now Fox is forced with a big decision on how to make up the difference.

Fox Public Schools was able to make some much needed repairs to campus buildings when the residents passed a $1.2 million bond in 2007, but a sharp increase in the price of metal during the project left the schools with over $240,000 worth of excess costs.

"By putting in storm windows and improving the roof and taking care of what we have, it would cut the expenses quite a bit," Fox School Board member Pamela Nichols says.

A bond proposition in November to cover the costs didn't receive the super majority and failed, leaving Fox Schools with a financial dilemma.

"We wound up being short to complete the project, so instead of cutting the project we decided to lease purchase one of the roofs in order so we could do the complete project that was voted on by the constituents," superintendent Brent Phelps says.

Phelps says with cuts coming down from the state, they are doing all they can keep as many programs and personnel as possible.

"We've been absorbing when people resign, retire, or quit, we have absorbed, and right now we're at a bare minimum staff, and I really can't afford to cut any staff, and I don't want to cut any staff," Phelps says.

The school board is looking a several ways to make up the costs, one of them being a new school bond to avoid paying the price themselves.

"We'd be looking at trying to cut back on some other not programs, but cut back on several things that we like to offer our kids that we would be able to offer if we have to absorb the price," Phelps says.

Nichols says if residents choose to reject another bond, it could mean big changes for the school.

"If everyone would agree to pay a little bit instead of it being a big loss on one person, I think we can take care of the needs we have," she says.

The school board will discuss whether or not to try and pass another bond at their meeting later this month, but say absorbing the cost on their own would be very hard to take, and could lead to other cuts.

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  • by parent Location: fox on Sep 4, 2010 at 06:11 PM
    just do it when was our school gonna plan for a new roof? when it fell in on our childrens heads? our school is small and like most oklahoma schools well underfunded. our roof was in bad disrepair and we barely have air conditioning. yet they tax gambling at the casinos to help the schools and we never see the funding.
  • by Lottery?? Location: Ardmore on May 6, 2010 at 07:48 PM
    well..where is all this money for education that was PROMISED from the "wonderful" Oklahoma Lottery?
  • by Live or Die Free on May 6, 2010 at 09:20 AM
    it's not politically correct to take care of your own children first-your own! it is rediculous the money wasted in this messed up country. abolish income tax and the federal reserve bank. we will all be richer then. income tax DOES NOT go to pay for any infrastructure, it only goes to pay a debt we shouldn't even have. and don't get me started on this fake war on terror the criminals have conjured up. how much will you idiots put up with before you start kicking some tail and forcing change? america was founded on rebellion and will be saved by the same.
  • by Joey Location: Denison on May 5, 2010 at 03:29 PM
    Right Donny. As soon as the Republicans stop filibustering every proposal Obama lays on the table, you might see some more education money. Of course, if there were to be more federal education money, you'd bi&ch about that too. If you want more education money, talk to your Governor and Legislature. Ask to have your taxes raised, or stop bribing companies to set up shop in your communities, or something other than demanding more $ from the federal government. What are you, part of the Tea Baggers for More Socialism? This is an State/local school district problem. Fix it in your own special trickle down bootstrappin' way, and stop whining about promises Obama made that you don't want him to keep anyway.
  • by Donny Location: Sherman on May 5, 2010 at 12:00 PM
    I agree with "your own" on this. Welcome to the "new way" that things are being done in America. Here is some of the change you voted for! Obama promised how he would do SO much to improve education and how all of this money would go towards education but where is it? We can barely keep our schools open! He and his administration want to pay for abortions, attorneys for terrorists, high-dollar galas, bank bailouts, auto bailouts, causes in other countries, etc, but where is the money for education right here in America? Think long and hard about this one!
  • by your own Location: oklahoma on May 5, 2010 at 09:07 AM
    As I read this story and many others about all the cuts schools are having to make it breaks my heart. How sad is it that America can raise MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dollars for other countries but Can Not or Will Not help our own youth to continue to have a good education in a nice enviroment. People..Americans need to start taking care of their OWN!!! And we need to start NOW!!!!!
  • by Just Do It Location: Sherman on May 5, 2010 at 06:42 AM
    $240,000 in excess costs? $240,000 neede to complete the project? It sounds to me like someone didn't do their homework! Per capita, the state cuts that this school is experiencing are no different than every other school. Yes, other schools are hurting as well, but they are making it. These superintendents are always to quick to try and haphazardly throw out a bond election to try and get the taxpayers to cover all of their expenses whether valid or not. Times are tough now and they need to cut back like everyone else is having to do right now! You can't just beat up the taxpayers everytime you fail to plan properly or want something that is not 100% necessary. You have the federal government to do that!
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