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Diamond School District Asks Voters to Move Money:Spend on Impro - KOAM TV 7

Diamond School District Asks Voters to Move Money:Spend on Improvements

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DIAMOND, MISSOURI -

Diamond, Missouri voters face several ballot issues Tuesday including two from the school district.


Gene Hobson runs a business in Diamond and when it comes to the current ballot issues he said, "It was very confusing to me. When I read it, I was confused."

The Diamond school district wants voters to approve two money questions. Superintendent Steve Hubbard said it is simply, "Permission to move it and permission to spend it."
The superintendent wants to tap the ninety-nine cent  debt service levy  in two ways.  Hubbard explained, "I'm asking the voters to move forty cents from our debt service into our operating (levy). So that will help keep with curricular needs, with budget needs, that salary needs, insurance is always going up."


Hobson argues the operating levy is high enough.
He said, "I think they should operate within their confines.  Trim the fat."

The other money  issue on the ballot is a request for  a bond for three million dollars to pay for   a string of improvements including: roof repairs to stop leaks that are damaging ceiling tiles at the high school, a new track, playground equipment  and more chrome book computers.
 

5th grade teacher Attalie Tanksley explained the need for more technology at the middle school. "We have kids that  learn at such different rates, at such different levels and having the technology to back us on teaching those kids at the same time would help us a lot. Some kids can learn at self pace. There’s also a lot of different ways kids can learn. Kids can learn through,  um personal instruction like with a teacher. Kids can learn through e-books, instructional  videos. They can learn through gameification, which sounds like games in the classroom but it’s really not. We do a lot of gamification in here when we can get our hand  on technology  but realistically  that’s about once a week for these kids.”

4th graders just received some new chrome books but at the middle school technology is shared.
Tanksley said, "I think I have the i-pads booked three  times in April and I booked that  in February to make sure we  could get them for the unit I want to do."
Bond dollars would also replace the current track which is asphalt. Tanksley who’s also a track coached weighed in on the need. "So anytime that it rains that lane one,  lane two it floods. We can’t have a track meet. We just canceled  our first track  meet on Tuesday for the middle school kids they were super disappointed.” She said that cost the school in revenues.   
If approved by voters the track would be widened to eight  lanes. The superintendent said the district would like to  make it accessible for use by the community as well. But the most important reason for getting a new track would be to make  it safer for students..

Tanksley explained, “But it’s just not safe. We also tape up  about seven kids right now with shin splints who didn’t have any issues  in playing other sports this year because there’s no give in the surface."

Hobson argues bond issues  are loans and are supposed to be  for big construction projects, not smaller ones like the track or roof repairs.
He said, "It’s a loan. They have to pay back the principle and the interest. I’m concerned about our school getting in debt. I'm curious why we can't manage to begin  with,  with our normal operating levy   or normal budget. It concerns me."

If approved , the measures will not increase taxes. Just shift the dollars collected now.
The current total levy in diamond is $3.74 per one hundred dollars assessed valuation.

In Newton county that compares with  $3.35 in the  Neosho school district  and $3.2191 in East Newton schools.

Joplin's levy is  $3.70 per one hundred dollars assessed valuation.

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