For third time, Fox tries to pass school bond

By: Dara Downs Email
By: Dara Downs Email

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.

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  • by trish Location: o.k. on Feb 24, 2011 at 07:34 AM
    Thhis is for Bill from Dickson, being a from Fox and living there most of my life. Maybe you need to live in the district before you have a comment. Where ever you went to school didn't have spelling because you can't even spell the name of the town you live in. Please keep your remarks to yourself.
  • by Fox Parent Location: Fox on Feb 23, 2011 at 10:10 PM
    As a parent of 3 Fox students I am all for this bond passing. I have lived in this area for over 10 years and know first hand this school needs this bond to pass. This school is not out to get money from the voters. It Really Needs what it is asking for. I really hope that all voters that have concerns should go to the meetings and ask questions. I think that the people of this community will finally see and understand just what this bond is all about. They will agree that it is worth passing.
  • by Casey Location: FOX AMERICA on Feb 23, 2011 at 09:15 AM
    Let me start by saying to Bill, if you are not a taxpayer in the district or part of the administration or school board then you really can't be critizing what is going on, how money is spent or what cutbacks are happening. Sometimes people need to stick with what they actually know and not what they think they know and think before they speak or write comments. So being a Christian I am going to leave this comment at that.
  • by Alicia Location: Fox on Feb 23, 2011 at 09:15 AM
    Community Meetings concerning Bond Issues will be held Thursday, February 23, 2011 at the following locations & times: 6:30 Graham Assembly Church Family Center 7:30 Ratliff City Fire Station 8:30 Tatums Post Office Please come out and show your support for Fox Schools, and find out the real facts about the bond. Proposition No. 1 is vital to our school!
  • by Bill Location: Dixon on Feb 22, 2011 at 07:59 PM
    with all the cutbacks that are necessary why in would you ask voters to build a multi-purpose building which clearly isn't necessary. if i lived in fox i would seriously consider questioning the school board members about why they aren't spending their money more responsibly.
  • by ellenal on Feb 22, 2011 at 05:30 PM
    If you think passing a bond is going to create a financial tax burden, think what your property would be worth with no school in the area. Fox School increases the value of your real property within the borders of it's district. Look at the state of other small communities that have had school closures in the past several years. It is up to us to save our community. Get informed before you vote and don't just take some disgruntled person's opinion, find out the truth for yourself! This bond is a good thing!
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