Tonight Belton voters approved $9.5 million in school bond sales to finance a building project designed to help ease overcrowding.
Bonds are a form of public debt, similar to mortgages for home owners. According to the district’s informational flyer, the purpose of the bonds would be to fulfill the strategic plan adopted by the Board of Education in 1999. As part of that plan, board members promised to “[c]ontinue construction of the comprehensive high school on the current Freshman Center campus.”
Expanding enrollment would be one reason to expand a high school. Currently the freshman class has about 25 or 35 more students than each of the upper classes, and the district’s bond flyer shows that some elementary school grade levels have anywhere from 95 to 35 more students than the upper classes in the high school. According to information available from Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, enrollment in the high school and the freshman center has declined slightly over the past four years, while district-wide enrollment has grown by 118 students.
Missouri state statute limits the amount of debt districts can accrue, and now that voters have approved Proposition A, Belton School District will not be able to take on any more debt until some is paid off.
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