Editor’s Note: The Beacon is running articles about the $130.6 million bond proposal for the Mid-Del School District. The series will continue each week leading up to the Oct. 10 election.
By Tonya Little
The Mid-Del School bond election, which takes place on October 10, has many different components in it for the school district. This is just one of a series of articles over the last few weeks to give a break-down of some of the projects that are a part of the bond. Mid-Del will be asking the community to approve the bond totaling $130,600,000. The bond will not raise taxes, the projects are all expected to be done within 3 years and the bond issue will be paid off within 10 years. One of the many different projects that this bond proposes includes money that is earmarked for technology equipment and related items, textbooks, library books and instructional materials. The total amount over the length of the bond for these items is $17,540,000. The money would be spread out over several years, allowing new items to be purchased or replaced each year.
“We’re just going to have bonds to replace textbooks, we don’t have state aid to replace textbooks and haven’t for the last several years and we need to have current instructional materials,” explained Superintendent Rick Cobb. “The math adoption that will be done this school year and purchased next summer will probably cost us about a million dollars. We only got about 25% of the reading adoption two years ago because we didn’t have money for it.”
The district was able to use some Title 1 money, federal funds, to buy some reading books for the early grades during the last reading adoption, but they didn’t go all the way up through high school with the literature books like they typically would during a reading adoption. This bond will help them to get caught up. The district classrooms have a lot of text books that are a decade or more old. They are falling apart because they just aren’t built to last that long.
“We’ve been using the same math book for a while now, the biggest issue with a lot of them is that they are falling apart and we really need to revamp our inventory with that so every student can have a text book for it,” said Del City High School math teacher Samantha Romero. “For me I teach Pre-AP and AP classes, so it’s important to me that they all have their own textbooks that they take home and read it and study it and learn how textbooks and technical language is written. Especially if our goal is to be college and career readiness, they need to know how to real technical language. For math specifically just having the examples that they can follow on their own just to sit down by themselves to do it I think is a huge deal.”
The new math program and textbooks will also include many online resources for both students and teachers to utilize in teaching and learning the material, which is helpful for everyone. When it comes to the technology and equipment the schools have available, it is the same kind of predicament. The equipment is outdated and sometimes falling apart as well.
“A teacher at Kerr was telling us that the computers there are over 8 years old, so we have eighth grade students that are using computers that were bought when they were in kindergarten. That’s not preparing them for the real world,” said Cobb.
The schools have devices that all of the staff use, laptops and desktop computers and they will have a rotation for replacing all of those as well as student use computers and computer lab equipment.The district also has infrastructure type needs, they will work on expanding the bandwidth and all the things that run a computer network.
“Those are all moving parts too, and moving parts break and need to be replaced or become outdated and it just takes a lot of work to keep the network going. The devices are one thing but the backbone to give the devices somewhere to go is really meant to be taken care of as well,” said Cobb.
The Mid-Del School district wants to provide its students with everything that they need to be successful, which sometimes requires money outside of their budget. The bond is a chance to ask the community to approve providing its students with adequate and proper tools. You can find out more about all of the projects within the bond at www.Mid-del.net.