The Shawnee Mission School District has created a series of Web pages that detail the specifics of the two questions on the special mail ballot that is scheduled for January in the district.
One of the questions asks voters to approve a $223 million bond issue that will be used for a variety of upgrades, including rebuilding several elementary schools, improving security at a number of schools, building a new aquatic center and improving technology. The second question asks district voters to approve keeping the local option budget (LOB) at 33 percent of the general fund for future years.
The school board had the authority to raise the LOB from its 31 percent to 33 percent only for this school year without voter approval. The increase this year brought in about $3.6 million in additional revenue for the school. The money raised through the LOB goes for operations. The bond money goes entirely to capital projects. Neither of the proposals anticipates any increase in tax rate.
The pages the district has posted include a list of projects planned for the bond issue, a list of FAQs about the proposals, a comparison of tax rates with surrounding districts and an explanation of the ballot and voting particulars.