Wichita School Bond Issue: Explain Again the Need for a Delay

In an article published in the April 10, 2008 issue of The Bond Buyer newspaper, USD 259, the Wichita public school district, vice president Lynn Rogers is quoted as follows:

School board vice president Lynn Rogers said he supported the delay, but believes the bonds will be approved whenever the election is held.

“I don’t think if will make any difference if we have an election in May, in August, or in November,” he said.

“I’ve had 20 sessions with groups in the past couple of weeks, and nobody has been negative, except those from the anti-bond groups who always show up,” Rogers said. “I don’t think this delay is going to affect us.”

I have a few questions:

If Mr. Rogers believes the bond issue will be approved no matter when the election will be held, then why did he vote for the delay? His board as well as the staff and superintendent of USD 259 vigorously argued for the special election to be held in May. Why? The district claimed large savings would accrue from the early election. Also, an August or November election would delay the opening of a proposed high school by one full school year.

If Mr. Rogers believes the bond issue will be approved by voters on any election date, why is he willing to forgo these cost savings? And why is he willing to delay the opening of a high school by one year? Or were these facts they used to make their case really just fiction?

The board of USD 259 and the Citizens Alliance for Responsible Education, a group supporting passage of the bond issue, also claim that a delay is needed so that they have time to make their case to the voters. According to Sarah Olson, co-coordinator of CARE: “We don’t think there is sufficient time available to adequately inform Wichita voters on the merits of the bond issue.” But both she and Mr. Rogers claim that the response they received from groups they’ve been to is positive.

So why, again, the need for the delay and the loss of the savings we were told only an early May special election would bring?

1 Comment

  • “I’ve had 20 sessions with groups in the past couple of weeks, and nobody has been negative, except those from the anti-bond groups who always show up,” Rogers said. “I don’t think this delay is going to affect us.”

    Nobody was negative except the people against it?

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