Jordan School District revamps school bond, gains supporters

Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 20:45:35-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY – The Jordan School District is once again asking voters to approve a bond, only this time it’s half the cost. Voters rejected a $495 million bond in 2013 to build more schools for its growing population. City leaders, parents and the Utah Taxpayers Association criticized the high cost.

“It was going to make Jordan School District one of the highest property tax in the state,” said Billy Hesterman, Vice-President of Utah Taxpayers Association.

The group is changing its tune three years later. Hesterman said they won’t oppose a new plan from the district because the bond has been reduced to $245 million. If approved, the bond will be used for six new schools, including a rebuild of West Jordan Middle School. This will make room for 9,200 new students projected to enroll in the school within the next five years.

The cost to the average homeowner would be an additional $16.80 per year.

“They've done their homework, made sure the cuts in place are ones that are significant without hurting the student experience,” Hesterman said.

Susan Pulsipher, President of the Jordan School Board,  said they tried to look at every concern that people had and address them. She said this time around they’re involving city leaders and community members to ensure every penny benefits students.

“I think we feel like we've come to all of these numbers together,” said Pulsipher. “All five mayors have endorsed this bond.”

Dawn Ramsey is a parent who is helping the district educate others about the bond.

Ramsey said the district has already changed boundaries, added portable classrooms, and adjusted schedules to ease overcrowding, but that’s not enough.

“It`s been 13 years since the Jordan District has bonded to build schools. This is an investment in education that we need,” Ramsey said.

The district is hosting 56 open houses to help the public learn more about the bond. Click here for a link.