Jeff City Considers Bond Issue
The Jefferson City School District is asking voters to let them sell $33 million in bonds. The district wants the money to provide new services at its eleven of the existing districts and one new elementary school. The new site will replace Southwest Elementary as the school for families in Centertown, St. Martins and Elston, all in western Cole County.
Expanding the various sites would allow for larger library and media centers. It would also let children attend a full day at kindergarten. Teachers say the added time will enhance the learning experience.
"That kind of having one on one with a child is non-existant and it breaks my heart. But to have that two and a half hours you've gotta get all this curriculum in and we still are just hitting the top," kindergarten teacher Ann Lane said.
Lane gets two and a half hours with her students. If this ballot passes she will get six hours, allowing her to lay a more solid, educational foundation.
"It's like building a house, if you've got a crumbly basement your house is going to fall apart," Lane said.
Kindergarten teachers gets less time with students because of a lack of space. Two different groups go to kindergarten in the morning and afternoon. A new school on Pioneer Trail in the county would help.
The new elementary school would be built on a 20 acre plot of land that would cost the school district more than $450,000. The bond issue also includes larger libraries, following the advice of librarians who say stress for space is huge everyday.
"We can build a new elementary school, we can improve our libraries, we can put in full-day kindergarten. The fact that we can do all these things without increasing peoples taxes, we just feel like this is a really good thing for our school district," David Luther of Jefferson City Public Schools said.
The new school would hold at least 450 students. Right now parents in western Cole County have to drive 15 miles to drop their children at school at Southwest every day. KOMU looked and could find no organized opposition to the bond issue.