Ogden's failed school bond initiative — an S-E reader conversation

Saturday , November 11, 2017 - 6:00 AM

SARAH WELLIVER/Standard-Examiner

The original front entrance for the 90-year-old Polk Elementary School is shown here Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017, in Ogden. The school is one of three elementary schools that would have been rebuilt per an Ogden School District $106.5 million bond proposal, which failed Tuesday, Nov. 7.

GREG HALLING, Standard-Examiner Staff

Voters approved a $97 million bond proposal Tuesday in the Weber School District. It won by more than 4,000 votes.

But in Ogden, a bond initiative failed.

Ogden’s proposal would spent $106.5 million to replace three elementary schools — Polk, T.O. Smith and Horace Mann — build high-tech learning centers at two junior highs, and construct a new gym at Ben Lomond High School.

It lost by 196 votes.

Here’s how readers reacted to the news when we shared it on Facebook. All quotes are verbatim:

Robert Lee Bateman: I thank all of those who joined me in voting “No”! I hope that the next bond will represent all of us!

Katherine Isabelle Johnston: I did not vote no because I want a better bond initiative. I voted no because at the end of the day, borrowing money (any money at all) is irresponsible. It's not the answer.

Suzanne Perrin: Where do you think the schools are going to come from? Donations maybe?

Jessica 'Goldstein' Namovicz: Sad- just sad. Ogden schools need more innovative schools and renovations. The students would have truly benefited. How unfortunate to deprive them of this. How stupid for anyone to have voted no!

Brooke AP: So true. And approaching the thought of increased amounts of gun violence in schools, about 99% of Ogden schools are old and designed sooo poorly for defense of this kind, they would never be able to adequately deter or stall a mass shooter. We need to improve the schools and update them for their future safety as well as their future growth.

Janis Walton: How bout we start paying the teachers a wage they deserve before building more and BIGGER schools? How bout we get the Lottery here in Utah to help with things like the school system?

Jessica 'Goldstein' Namovicz: Totally agree with that! Why not just get all of the above?

Mike Patterson: Utah has lacked in education for over 25 years. Building or remodeling these overpriced facilities will not educate a child. Children don't learn from 60 million dollar elementary schools. They learn from 30,000 a year educators. Ogden and Weber are out of control on buildings. North Park and Walquist were built so fast that they have major flaws (sewer gas, no ventilation, etc.). Can't even build them right, let alone educate them.

Jessica Norman: You people that are saying no, do you know you are saying no to your kids future! Ogden school district is so behind compared to all the other districts. It’s so sad to see so many people say no and would rather send there kids to a run down schools. U know Ogden school district could probably get better teachers if these new teachers weren’t coming to a run down school that has no new technology and new age teachings in work already. These older school schools have old stuff which leads to teachers having to teach old ways that don’t work anymore with our new common core standards! Come on people put our schools first, your kids first!!! Even if your taxes went a few dollars wouldn’t you want to invest in your children’s future!

Matt Hinds: Jessica, I was in favor of the bond until I started doing my research. This bond was poorly thought out and was a blank check. I think we all agree that schools need to be improved, but let's have a plan first instead of just throwing money at a problem without appropriate planning or public input.

Dustin Chapman: Jessica Norman We don't hate kids or want bad things for their future. There's nothing wrong with getting the right result for the kids and their neighborhoods. If we're spending $100M dollars of taxpayer $ let's make sure it's the right thing, which this bond was not. But next year we're all for correcting course and trying again.

Jessica Norman: You obvasily didn’t do enough research! Some change at this point would have been better then none! I didn’t once say anyone hated there kids. Nobody understands how bad the schools are till you have actually sent your kid to a good school and then had to come here! I’m glad I had the option to opt out of public schools.

Dustin Chapman: Jessica Norman I assure you I am well informed on the issue. Patience isn't a bad thing here. It sucks for a year but in the long run it will be better. I've got multiple kids going to school in Ogden and we're all hurt just as much as everbody else in town- but ultimately we're going to get a better result long term.

Kasey Wardell: The building doesn't change the education. It doesn't bring good teachers either. The charter schools around here are nothing special in regards to the buildings or the technology, yet they have quite a few good teachers and some have scores higher than most other elementary schools here. There's no doubt the buildings need help, but they all need help, not just a couple. The bond was not a well thought out or presented bond. Hopefully next years is better.

Jennifer Belnap Evans: My issue with supporting these bonds is the type of education our children are getting. I don't have any problem providing more $$ for the education of our children, if they were getting a good education. I actually voted 'NO' to the WSD bond because they are teaching Common Core to our children. When they stop teaching common core and stop pushing socialism on our children I will then stand in support.

Sue Delaney: Well, this is sad, hopefully it will be presented again, sorely needed for aging schools