Community conducts survey on rejected Madill school bond

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After Madill voters rejected a $22.9 million school bond proposal last month, Amy Ortloff went to the School Board to suggest the idea for a community-wide survey.

Ortloff, a concerned parent, said it was important to know why voters didn't like it.

"We're just trying to get as much information on if you did vote, 'why did you vote yes, and why did you vote no,'" she said.

Ortloff helped to start the Madill Public Schools Community Bond Survey Committee.

"The group can come together to try and see what the data shows, and what the community really wanted, and then we can give that to the school board and say 'this is what the community wants,'" she said.

The Committee is made up of parents, faculty, community leaders and businesses - and includes people for and against the original bond.

The original proposal included a new activity center, ag/tech center, safe shelter rooms and more classrooms.

Jon Tuck, Madill Public Schools superintendent, said it was disappointing to see the bond rejected - especially by such a narrow margin.

The bond received 52 percent of the vote. But it was eight percentage points short of the 60 percent super-majority needed to pass.

"This had needed classrooms. It had safety for the kids, safety for the community, economic impact in a positive way," Tuck said.

Tuck feels confident they can pass a future bond if they know what the voters want.

"I think everyone agrees we've grown," he said. "We've gone from a 2A school to a 4A school, and we're still growing. And I think everyone agrees we need to start improving and adding to facilities."

But for now, figuring out what the voters want is a priority - and a challenge.

"I've heard all kinds of reasons and that's why it's important to have the survey," Ortloff said.

"It's a good question, and asking 30 different people I've gotten a lot of different answers," Tuck said.

Tuck said the schools also lost out on a $3 million construction grant they would have qualified for if the bond passed.

He said getting a second chance at the grant isn't likely.

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