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School District 91 Bond Fails

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School District 91 Bond Fails

An image of what the remodeled Skyline High School would've looked like

An image of what the remodeled Skyline High School would've looked like

Photo courtesy of District 91

An image of what the remodeled Skyline High School would've looked like

Photo courtesy of District 91

Photo courtesy of District 91

An image of what the remodeled Skyline High School would've looked like

Sujata Gandhi, Reporter

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On Aug. 28, residents of School District 91 voted on a $86.2 million bond and a tier, totaling $13.3 million. The bond would have paid to remodel Skyline High School, rebuild Idaho Falls High School, and turn the existing Idaho Falls High School building into a career-technical school. With only 58.4 percent of voters in favor of the base bond and 56.9 percent of voters in favor of the full bond, the supermajority required to pass the bond wasn’t achieved.

Some of the reasons people were opposed to the bond were that they believed it would increase taxes, that the school district did not choose the contractor in an appropriate fashion, and that they believed the bond was not going to improve the quality of education— instead, the bond was shifting the focus from the real issues in our schools. They believed that even though investing in education was important, it was more important to invest in education correctly.  “‘Didn’t others pay for your education?’ Absolutely, but they realized that the building wasn’t as important as quality teachers and parental support. So they bought us adequate buildings that were not the fanciest buildings in the city! The previous generations also left us with minimal debt for these schools as well,” said D91 Taxpayers, the organization opposed to the bond, in a flyer distributed shortly before the election.

However, there were also many reasons that people were in favor of the bond, as well. Supporters of the bond believed that the new schools would be modern, and therefore more conductive to a 21st century education and would equip students with the skills they need for today’s world.  “The new schools will provide modern learning spaces that will provide easy access to critical technology necessary for 21st-century education. The new schools will provide common areas that will enable our high schools students to convene, collaborate and create—allowing students to take advantage of online, blended and college-credit classes. The new schools will provide enhanced security for both students and staff. The new schools will make our area more desirable for both people and businesses looking to move to our area, enhancing our competitiveness,” said Build Up District 91, the organization in favor of the bond, on their website.

The students and faculty at Skyline had many feelings about the results of this election. “Success is not final. Failure is not fatal, but it’s the courage to continue that counts,” which  was a quote from Winston Churchill, and was applied to this situation by Nakell Higby (10).

“I think that there are some parts of the building that should be fixed, such as the bathrooms, but we don’t necessarily have to redesign the whole building,” said Miranda Tyler (10). “I’m upset about it.. IF’s in disrepair and Skyline has very limited resources,” said Riley Griffin (12). “I feel like everything is outdated and needs to be updated,” said Daniel Crider (11). “I’m disappointed for sure… I’m still curious why people oppose it so much. It seems reasonable,” said Emily Hoadley.

The percent of voters in favor of the bond was nearly identical to November’s election, which shows that the community doesn’t feel that the remodel and rebuilding of our district’s high schools is necessary. “The board will have to determine what the next steps will (and) where they want to go from here,” George Boland, the superintendent, said in the Post Register.

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School District 91 Bond Fails