Morning Version: New School for Jefferson City

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JEFFERSON CITY - Voters approved Proposition J and Proposition C on Tuesday. Both propositions raise money for public schools but for different school issues and by different means.

For Proposition J, Jefferson City Public Schools would raise $130 million to build a second high school. Leftover money would then go to renovating the current high school. The ballot surpassed the 57 percent it needed to pass. The other proposition, C, raises funds to operate the second high school and will also be used district-wide for resources like textbooks. Proposition C only needed a simple majority and got the votes needed to pass. The total tax increase, for both measures, is $1.10 added to the current $3.69.

Percent of Voter Approval by County

  Proposition J Proposition C
Cole County  63% 61%
Callaway County 58% 57%

A majority of voters voted "yes" on the two propositions. Many said it was time for a change. Sonja Walker said she voted "no" on the 2013 public school bond issue but this time she said "yes."

"I feel that it is the duty of the school board to make sure our teachers have what they need to teach our students. And our students need a proper place to be taught. When it's overcrowded, you have too many students to the teacher...you get kids that get lost in the cracks. And, that's unfair to both the teachers and the students," Walker said.

Walker said the poor condition of the schools is one of the reasons she is not sending her son, an 8th grader at Louis and Clark Middle School, to Jefferson City High School next year.

"The school is so overcrowded my son would not flourish there," Walker said. "Right now it's a disaster, but it's not too late for the kids on their way. We need to fix it for them."

Proposition J may alleviate some concerns for overcrowding. Out of the $130 million bond, $85 million will go to building a second high school off Highway 179. The bond for Proposition J proposes building a new high school for $85 million off of Highway 179. The other $45 million will go to renovating the current high school.

 

An opponent to the propositions said she did not know why it was on her to shoulder costs for schools.

"I don't have children in this town. I always feel if you don't have kids that go to school in the town where you live, why should I pay property taxes or why should my property taxes increase," Jefferson City resident Margaret Meyer said.

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