Unified School District 475’s Board of Education voted unanimously to delay the bond election pertaining to the Junction City High School Way Forward at its monthly meeting Monday. The bond election will be delayed until further notice. A date will be set for the election at a later time.
JCHS’s Way Forward campaign recently hit a speed bump when the district didn’t receive its regularly-scheduled allotment of heavily-impacted military aid.
Superintendent Corbin Witt recently spoke with officials in Washington, D.C. where he spoke with officials about heavy impact aid.
Witt “found that due to a continuing resolution in the federal government, they’re not allocating funds for everything — they’ve got a very limited amount of funds that they can allocate,” USD 475 Executive Director of Communications Mat Droge said.
This doesn’t mean the heavy impact aid payment won’t come. It means the payment has been delayed.
The district still fully expects to receive its heavy impact aid payment in full, along with some extra funds.
However, the district has promised that for the bond election won’t go forward without approval (and funding) from the state — which it has, its yearly payment of heavy impact aid, and approval from the community.
This approval from the community would come in the form of a vote from a bond election.
“I really don’t want the taxpayers to go to the polls without knowing for sure that heavily impacted aid money is in the bank,” Witt said.
The budget won’t be resolved until sometime this month, he said. According to Droge, the payment may not arrive until some time this summer. The state will still pay its share, according to Witt, if the election is delayed. So long as the delay doesn’t last an extended amount of time, the district will still receive its match from the state.
Board member Anwar Khoury expressed uncertainty that, with the state’s budget and school funding in turmoil, that the state would uphold its side of the bargain. Others, Witt included, believed the state would pay.
Originally, the district had wanted to hold the bond election before the end of the fiscal year.
“We’re not moving forward,” Droge said. “We’re taking a step back and we’re seeing how we can do this in the best interest of the community. Other than that, nothing has really changed.”