In June of 2015 the Helena community turned down the bond plan that was presented by the school board. 58% voted NO and 42% voted YES. The following page provides a historical look at the reasons why All Kids Matter opposed the bond and campaigned people to vote no.
Don’t be afraid to walk away from a mistake
just because you spent a long time making it.
ALL Kids Matter
This bond plan has kids who win big and kids who frankly, lose. Is that reasonable to you? $62 million dollars will be spent on creating three large schools in the valley and at Smith and Four Georgians plus upgrades to Central and a new district-wide phone system. That leaves $8 million to be spent on ALL SEVEN remaining K-8 schools where more than HALF of our kids go to school. This is less than the District’s estimate of 27 million dollars for deferred (undone) maintenance on these schools. Read more.
Middle Schools Matter
HMS and CRA get $0 in this bond plan. They are a part of the elementary district and school 1600 of our kids per year. They don’t have their own district. It could be up to 12 years before these unhealthy, deteriorating, unsafe schools are improved depending on the passage of future bonds. Read more.
Stand-alone bond? Think again. At the IR Sponsored debate, this bond was touted as a “stand-alone bond” and that the current vision is null and void. The school district is lacking a solid long-range plan and vision yet feels certain it knows how to best spend $70 million dollars. This bond, as all large investments and infrastructure building, will shape the future of our schools, it is permanent. It needs a long-range plan and vision that can be supported by the community.The district has identified some of this deferred maintenance as life and safety issues (lead paint abatement, asbestos removal, fire doors) yet it took it out of the bond plan and therefore is choosing to our kids’ schools unsafe. Read more.
Neighborhood Schools Matter
This bond is a thinly veiled consolidation plan. It will put the lion’s share of the K-5 classrooms in new big schools at Jim Darcy, Rossiter, Warren, Smith and Four Georgians. If this plan is implemented, there will be classroom space for 4,200 K-5 kids. There are now 3,319 K-5 kids in the elementary district. No future board will sit around with 900 more K-5 seats than there are K-5 kids and watch the operating budget go further in the tank. The superintendent publicly said that Bryant, Kessler, Central and Hawthorne will be closed. Not a consolidation plan? Read more.
Downloadables ~ Additional Information to Help You Decide
- Why Vote No: Door-to-Door Handout
- $70M Divided Unfairly
- Bond Spending Differs From Need
- Bond Funding Per Student
- Disparity Pie Chart
- Get Informed
- What the School District Says
- Helena Schools Superintendent Kent Kultgen to Hire Realtor for School Closures.
- Talking Out Loud About Consolidation: A Quoted History.
- Another Look at the Quoted History of Advocates for Consolidation.
- Tip of the Iceberg Radio Spot: Vote No Pam Attardo
- Tip of the Iceberg Radio Spot: Vote No Darryl James