FOX, OK - Public schools in Oklahoma have endured several budget cuts over the past couple of years, and according to legislators will likely take another hit this year. Now one Carter County school system is trying for a third time to pass a bond that would help get them out of more than $200,000 worth of debt.
Voters in Fox approved a $1.2 million school bond in 2007 to make improvements to Fox schools, but due to an unforeseen rise in metal costs the schools ended up $250,000 short., money that now is coming out of the schools' general fund.
Superintendent Brent Phelps says Fox Schools are sending two more bond propositions to voters, a $150,000 bond that would build a new all purpose facility and a $250,000 bond that would help pay off the lease purchase of the school's new roof, along with other school improvement projects.
"Doing the entry way, doing the parking lot, putting some fencing up that we planned on doing until we had to start paying the lease purchase on the other," says superintendent Brent Phelps.
Phelps says both bonds would be for three years and would carry no projected tax increase for citizens. He says right now the school system is spending more than $50,000 on the lease purchase payments every year during a time when schools are counting every penny.
"You know we could lose anywhere from 3 to 15 percent off our budgets that we're going to have to find a way to make things work well. By paying off the lease purchase so I don't have to make a payment in to it, that will help some. That will alleviate some of that money that we have to worry about."
Two similar bonds went to voters last year, including a $400,000 bond that was shot down by voters in July, falling six percent short of the super majority needed to pass the bond.
"You look at it from the outside, and it can be scary because it looks like we need this much money but there's not going to be any tax increase so that could be it I just wish people would take the time to look at the information before they make a decision," says teacher Kenney Spigner.
Principal Mark Williams says both bond propositions would go toward improving not only the school, but the entire community.
"Basically Fox School is this community, and with that being said, without a tax increase and still being able to do this, to show support for the Fox community and Fox Schools would be great for everybody involved.
The two propositions will require the 60 percent super majority when they go to vote on Tuesday, March 1.