When The School Bond Failed

The May 10 school bond proposal lost by a margin of 7553 votes cast against to 2812 votes cast for. Because of the bond’s failure students were notified two weeks ago what school they were assigned to and 40 of those students did not get their first choice.
“You can’t make 100 percent of people happy about 100 percent of everything,” Rider Principal Judy McDonald said.
Although choice will still be the method of deciding high school attendance, the overcrowding at Rider has caused there to be a more selective admissions for this year’s incoming freshman. This depended on the date that students returned their choice letters, where the students lived, and if they had siblings already attending Rider; the importance of each factor is unknown.
“Instead of the normal 400 students, this year we were assigned to having 365 students. This year 410 students put Rider as their first choice this year,” McDonald said.
For those who did not get their first choice there is an appeals process for students and parents. These can be voiced at the student assignment office with Dr. Muehlberger. Without the passage of a school bond this appeals process will be in effect until Rider meets the 1350 student maximum stated by the MGT study this fall.
It is believed that a large reason for contention against the bond is because of the drought.
“One of the primary reasons that I even heard the superintendent talk about as to why the bond didn’t pass was because of the water issue in the city. If we can get the water situation worked out then it helps us to be able to focus on other concerns in the city like the school bond,” McDonald said.
Alongside improvements in city water conservation it can be expected that with available funds school safety will be the first issue addressed.
“For example in the front entrance of our school anyone could run in through the student center without checking in with the office,” McDonald said.
There are community issues that might be brought up and voted on separately like the building of a state-of-the-art career and technology center and improvements to Memorial Stadium.
McDonald said she believes that separate plans for each high school would not be as successful as another overall bond due to the community’s special interests and a general feeling of distrust between high schools.
The next available date for another bond proposal will be this coming November. Until then everyone still has hope for school improvements in years to come.
“I would like to see enough classrooms built to accommodate all of our classrooms, and I would like to see us have computer services that actually run efficiently,” McDonald said.