Message from Superintendent Chuck Perry
Message from Superintendent Chuck Perry
Dear Broken Arrow Public Schools Patrons,
It’s an honor and privilege to serve in my hometown, and I am blessed to stand on the shoulders of the innovative educators and community leaders who came before me. They could never have imagined how the decisions they made years ago would affect the trajectory of our school district, but the foundation they built has served our district well since 1904.
As you may have heard, we are asking voters to consider a bond election in November. This is our chance to build on the foundation we’ve inherited. It’s our chance to secure the future for our students with an investment that won’t raise taxes if approved. But before I ask you to cast your vote, I want to tell you exactly what’s included in this bond package. It’s more than I can cover in one short video, so my team and I have created a podcast series that you can watch or listen to one episode at a time as you have a few free minutes in your daily routine. In the first episode, I’ll break down the why, when, and most importantly, what does this mean for you, the taxpayer, and following episodes will dive deeper into each of the questions contained on the bond.
You’ll also find a great deal of information right here on our website, and by clicking on the QR code you can also let us know what questions you still have leading up to the vote. I hope you’ll engage and add your voice to the conversation happening in our community. Don’t forget to get out and vote on Nov. 14, and always remember, in Broken Arrow, the best is yet to come.
Superintendent Chuck Perry
View answers to your bond questions that have been submitted in ThoughtExchange.
Visit this webpage to learn about about the 2023 Bond Issue.
Overview of Bond
In 2022 Broken Arrow Public Schools surpassed the 20,000 student mark for the first time in history. Based on the projections in two separate demographic studies, the district is growing at the highest predicted rate, gaining approximately 500 students per year. With several thousand new construction starts already in the works across the district, more classroom space is needed. This bond issue will give voters the chance to add classrooms at key elementary sites to keep class sizes manageable.
The last two bond issues – 2009 and 2015 – enabled the district to build 13 new buildings, expand or renovate 37 facilities and replace portable classrooms with permanent structures. Two projects, the natatorium and another elementary school, both listed on the 12-year 2015 bond proposal, have yet to begin construction, because the money for those projects is not available until 2025. These two projects will be constructed as planned, unless the voters choose differently in Propositions 3 and 4 of the 2023 bond.
The 2023 bond issue includes a $5 million investment in safety precautions across the district. This includes a fence and secure vestibules at the high school, LED lighting in parking lots, a dispatch center and body cameras for the BAPS Campus Security team, as well as additional building cameras and hand-held radios for staff. These safety enhancements would be included in the first two years of the five-year bond, meaning the money would be available for expenditure just months after the bond election.
- Fiscal Impact
Should the 2023 bond issue be approved by the voters, there will be NO TAX INCREASE for Broken Arrow citizens, and the district’s millage rate will remain comparable to surrounding districts. Since 2009 the district has gained nearly 4,000 students, an enrollment growth of 24%, yet the inflation rate in the US between 2009 and today is 42%. In other words, the purchasing power of $100 in 2009 requires $142 today. The previous two bonds brought new facilities to the district, and the 2023 bond is needed to perform the upkeep necessary to maintain those facilities.
The community can be proud of the district’s track record of success in its hundred plus year history. More than 1,400 students graduate each year, and the district maintains a graduation rate of 94%, with last year’s class earning more than $10 million in scholarships. Innovative new programs like Project Pathways and the Vanguard Academy allow BA to lead the way when it comes to academics, and creative endeavors like the Tiny Tigers Learning Center create a work culture that attracts and retains the best. The passage of the 2023 bond will enable BAPS to stay on the trajectory of success.
Oklahoma school bond issues require a 60% approval by the voters, so now more than ever, every vote counts. 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:
*The projects listed in marketing materials are subject to change based on actual market costs of equipment, installation and construction services. For the specific legal language that cannot change without a vote of the citizens, please refer to the 2023 Bond Resolution.