Silo Bond Issue Questions and Answers - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Silo Bond Issue Questions and Answers

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Administrators with the Silo School District in Bryan County hope the 5th time will be the charm to get voters to approve a school bond.  Back in January the $2.3 million dollar bond failed.
This time, the district and some parents are taking their message to the public to make sure the needs they say are critical are met. Election day is Tuesday May 14th.

Tune in Wednesday May 8th for KTEN News Midday at 11am and Thursday 6am for Good Morning Texoma to hear exactly what these advocates for the bond have to say.

Frequently Asked Questions
Silo Bond Issue
May 14, 2013
Q – This is the fifth time you have called for a bond issue. Haven't the voters spoken? 
A – In all previous elections, the majority of the voters have voted for the bond issue. In three of the four elections, over 56% of the voters voted for the bond. We averaged 1152 people voting in the four elections. This means that we needed only an average of approximately 53 voters to have changed their vote for it to have passed. The smallest difference was 33 votes. Oklahoma is one of only six states that require more than a simple majority to pass a school bond issue. These were all close elections. 
Q - Why do you keep asking for this bond? 
A – The need is there, no matter how many times the issue has not passed the 60% majority. Silo schools have grown tremendously and the school is very overcrowded with student education being affected. 
Q – Why did you try to sneak in the last election? 
A – There was no sneaking involved. It was announced to the newspaper and there was an article about it. It was also announced it to the television media and they reported on it. 
Q – How much will this bond issue raise my taxes?
A – The estimate from the County Treasurer's office is that in the first year, the taxes would increase no more than 9%. Each year thereafter the rate would decrease a small amount from the first year increase. For someone whose taxes are currently $1,000, the additional tax in the first year would amount to approximately $90.
Q – Why do you have to have a bond issue, why can't you just use general funds? 
A – The law is very specific regarding the funding of building. A school is very limited on the amount of general fund money that can be spent on building. There must be a bond issue or sales tax voted to be able to build any buildings.
Q – Why can't we just get a grant to pay for the classrooms? 
A – Grants are not available for brick and mortar unless it is for an abatement of a problem. 
Q – Is it true that some of the money is earmarked to provide new lights at the baseball field? 
A – No. It is illegal to earmark the money for anything that is not included on the voter information. Schools are allowed to use only 15% of excess funds from bond issues for other needs, but we don't expect to have much if any excess. The language of the new bond issue is very explicit for the use of the bond.
Q- Is it true that a coach makes $200,000 a year from Silo Schools? 
A – No. The individual in question is the maintenance director, transportation director, and athletic director and his salary for those duties is well in line with other county schools. As for coaching, since he only coaches varsity baseball, the coaching portion of his salary is the same as other head coaches at the school and comparable with other county schools.
Q – I understand that the school pays for the baseball team to take their yearly spring break trip to Florida. Is that true?
A – No, it is not true. The funding for those trips comes from parents and private funding efforts. Those trips have proven to be very beneficial to the team and to the young men that come out of the baseball program.
Q – Why do we need a new Agriculture building? Isn't what we have good enough?
A – The new Ag building has multiple uses. Ag education is growing and Silo's is no exception. We now have 112 students taking Ag classes.  The new building would enable us to double that. There would also be new, safer equipment including welders and new computer technology. Not only does the new Ag building have new equipment and an area for animals, but there are new classrooms for instruction. This new building allows us to remodel the old Ag area into classrooms for a new junior high, which is badly needed. 
Q – Is it true that the new Ag building will be refrigerated to assist cattle showing? 
A – No, it will not. It is a shameful rumor that is untrue. 
Q – How will this help the high school? 
A - First of all, the overcrowding in the classrooms will be eliminated. Because the junior high students will have their own building, the crowded hallways and chance for injury during class changes will be reduced. The high school will be a high school and will not include seventh and eighth graders. It will be a much better environment for learning. There will be a much better chance for enhanced school pride. There will be separate areas for remediation classes which will help the learning environment. It will also free up classroom space for future growth. 
Q – We have so many transfers in for the baseball program. Would we need the bond issue if we didn't have so many? 
A – That is just not true. Most of the transfers into the school district are at the elementary level. This year, we have 54 transfers into the school district and 370 transfers out to other schools within Bryan County. Most of the reason for people to transfer into the school district is to go to a smaller school. Transfers are not the cause of our growth. More people moving into the district is the cause for our growth. 

for more information and growth plan video go to http://www.siloisd.org/