FAQs for 2023 Bond
Please click on each of the questions to view answers.
What is the proposal?
On Tuesday, Nov. 14, voters will have the opportunity to cast their vote in the 2023 bond election to invest $52 million in Broken Arrow Public Schools over the next five years. The ballot will contain four separate questions for voters to consider. All four questions require a 60% voter approval rate to pass, and there will be NO TAX INCREASE if approved.
Why do we need it?
The 2023 bond is necessary to improve facilities and address enrollment growth. In 2022 Broken Arrow Public Schools surpassed the 20,000 student mark for the first time in history, and with several thousand new home construction starts already in the works across the district, more classroom space is needed to keep class sizes low.
Why are there four questions and what do they each mean?
The first two propositions are new questions for the voters to consider, while the last two are reconsiderations from the 2015 bond. Two previous bond projects, the pool and another elementary school, have yet to begin construction, because the money for those projects is not available until 2025. These will be constructed as planned, unless the voters choose differently in Propositions 3 and 4 of the 2023 bond. All four questions require a 60% voter approval rate, and can pass or fail independently of the others.
What are the projects on the bond?
Proposition 1 contains the bulk of the new projects voters are being asked to consider. Safety, technology, maintenance of facilities, improved transportation efficiency, and expansion of student activities are the focus of the 2023 bond. It includes a $5 million investment in safety precautions such as a perimeter fence at the high school, and nearly 40% of the bond will be allocated to technology enhancements. The remainder focuses on facility maintenance needs and addition of classrooms.
The total of Proposition 1 is $48 million.
Is Proposition 2 really limited to school buses?
Yes. Proposition 2 is limited only to transportation expenses – per state law – and would include the purchase of buses. The average age of a BAPS bus is 13 years old, and approval of this question would enable the district to maintain its bus replacement lifecycle.
The total of Proposition 2 is $4 million.
In Proposition 3, why would we want more classrooms instead of another new elementary??
Proposition 3 is a revote of an item included on the 2015 bond issue. That bond included a project named “Elementary 17” which has yet to be constructed, because the dollars are not yet available for expenditure. Rather than add another elementary school, which will add to the district’s overall operating costs and require an attendance zone redistricting, Proposition 3 asks voters to consider adding classrooms to existing elementary schools. Adding classrooms using this method will enable the district to maintain low class sizes at the elementary levels, can also be completed much faster than building an entirely new elementary, and will prevent the redistricting that comes with opening a new elementary. If Proposition 3 is not approved by the voters, “Elementary 17” will be constructed as originally planned.
Proposition 3 asks for no new money.
Where’s the pool?
The pool was approved as part of the 2015 bond and is still scheduled for construction once the funding becomes available in 2025. However, since the passage of the 2015 bond issue, the City of Broken Arrow has expressed the desire to partner with the district in constructing and operating a pool at Elam Park. While the amount and construction timeline of the pool will not change, in Proposition 4 voters are being asked to provide the district with the flexibility to build the pool at a location other than the Kirkland Activities Complex.
Proposition 4 asks for no new money.
Are the fine arts and athletic programs getting anything?
The two specific items included in the 2023 bond are a renovation of existing spaces at Broken Arrow High School into Fine Arts practice and storage areas, and an updated facility for the high school tennis teams.
How much and how long is the term of this bond?
The total cost of the bond issue is $52 million dollars over a period of five years.
Will there be a tax increase?
There will be NO TAX INCREASE if the 2023 bond is approved and the district’s millage rate will remain comparable to surrounding districts.
What happens if it doesn’t pass?
More than 90% of the district’s general operating budget goes to pay salaries and benefits of its 2,500 employees. There is simply not enough state funding to also allow for the improvements and purchases that can be made with a bond issue. If the 2023 bond does not pass, facilities improvements will go unaddressed, class sizes will increase for lack of classroom space, and investments in safety, technology and transportation will be delayed.
What is a transportation terminal and why would it be a good thing for our district?
The transportation department runs more than 200 routes two times every day across the 115 square mile district. The 2023 bond would allow the district to increase transportation efficiency by creating a terminal on the southern end of the district. This new facility would include fueling stations, a fleet center, maintenance bays and would enable district leaders to review route times to maximize efficiencies. Reducing time spent on buses and achieving an earlier dismissal time for elementary students are two of the early goals with the addition of this facility.
How many people have to vote for it to pass?
The 2023 bond issue requires a 60% approval rate to pass. While there is no minimum number of votes needed, 60% of voters must approve for the proposition to pass.
How/where can people vote or register to vote?
Voters ARE able to vote with absentee ballot or early and in-person ahead of the election, and a list of polling places can also be found at:
When is the vote?
The 2023 bond election will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.