South Jordan Officials Support Jordan School District Bond
Oct 04, 2016 04:36PM
● By Briana Kelley
South Jordan City Mayor Dave Alvord said the Jordan School District bond proposal is “the big picture; this is a community building bond, and I think it’s needed.” (Dawn Ramsey/Jordan Education Foundation)
South Jordan Officials Support Jordan School District Bond [3 Images] Click Any Image To Expand
By Briana Kelley | [email protected]
South Jordan City Council unanimously lent support for the 2016 Jordan School District bond at the Sept. 6 council meeting. Support for the bond comes after years of planning and discussion after the district’s previous bond failed to pass in 2013.
South Jordan is the second city council to formally support the current bond proposal. All five mayors in the school district’s boundaries, including South Jordan Mayor Dave Alvord, have publicly endorsed it.
“I just want to say thank you to the South Jordan City Council for working together with Jordan School District to create a plan,” Susan Pulsipher, president of Jordan School District Board of Education, said during the council meeting. “As you know, we’ve worked to create a five-year plan for growth that will allow the students of Jordan School District and the people of Jordan School District to know what is coming in the future, to know what schools are needed, and we really appreciate your efforts in working with us to create this plan. This is how governments should work, when entities work together.”.
Dawn Ramsey, member of the Board of Directors for Jordan Education Foundation and resident of South Jordan also in attendance, stressed the need for new schools in the district. Ramsey stated that schools are projected to grow by 9,251 students within five years. Ramsey also noted that Jordan School District has the lowest per-student debt in the state, and that this will continue even with the passage of the bond.
South Jordan City Council members offered praise and appreciation for the district’s work on the bond, stating that Pulsipher and her staff had been thoughtful and conservative in putting together the proposal.
“If we had more people in government and school boards that were this thoughtful about finances that would be so refreshing,” Councilmember Tamara Zander said. “I did not support the last bond effort, I didn’t at all. This time I wholeheartedly support it. It was very thoughtfully put together, very conservative, needed, as we can all see. We need this badly.”
Council members recognized the need to address the growth of schools in the area and believe that a bond providing funding for six new schools is the best option. The bond would increase taxes approximately $16 per year for a few years, after which taxes for the bond will go down, according to a Zion’s Bank calculation.
“If the schools get too many people and we start to have overcrowding, I think that starts to impact the level of education that they receive, and for only $16 on average of extra taxes we can prevent that,” Councilmember Patrick Harris said. “I’m confident that if we had massive overcrowding, then I think the attractiveness of coming to South Jordan would decrease. I think our property values would be impacted more than by $16 a year.”
Councilmember Brad Marlor, whose three children went through South Jordan’s public education system, thanked teachers and the Jordan School District for all it has done and continues to do. “I hope other members of South Jordan—individuals just like you and I—will also step up and support these bonds and support this level of education for the future of our kids,” he said.
“I’m very supportive of it [the bond],” Councilmember Don Shelton said. “I’m a little concerned that we’re maybe behind the curve a bit the way growth is going, but I’m very supportive of it. I appreciate the hard work that has gone into planning these improvements and the construction of the new schools and the collaboration that the district has provided with the cities that are affected by your decision.”
“This bond vote is night and day compared to the last one,” Councilmember Christopher Rogers said. “I appreciate all of the work that the school district has undertaken, all of the details that have been provided and the research. I fully support the bond, and I was astonished to learn that Herriman High School will almost double in size in the next five years. For the price of a pizza we can build six schools, and it’s an excellent use of funds.”