Improvements Coming to School District After Millage Vote

VAN BUREN(KFSM) - Old buses, buildings in need of repairs, and outdated technology lead the Van Buren School District to ask their community for help this school year.

On Tuesday (Sept. 20), voters approved a one-time restructuring of four existing bonds for the district, which will provide $8 million to fix all that is needed. The money will also go towards a new school.

"We have a new school that we're going to build, an elementary school on the north side of the interstate," Superintendent, Harold Jeffcoat said, "It's still going to be a ways out before we get there, but at least we're in progress to reaching that goal."

A three mill increase was also approved by voters, which will generate $1 million a year. That translates to $5 a month for people living a house valued at $100,000, and $10 a month for people living in a house valued at $200,000.

"I mean, it's like Starbucks," Jeffcoat said. "If we go to Starbucks once a week, we're spending more at Starbucks than what we're investing here at the school."

Not only are the buildings getting upgrades, but teachers will now be able to receive a competitive salary schedule.

"This is going to allow us to keep our skilled teachers in positions and not have to worry about going through a replacement plan or worry about other schools picking up our highly-skilled teachers," Jeffcoat said.

Jeffcoat told 5NEWS that he is thankful for the people of Van Buren, "It says a lot about Van Buren and the fact that they believe in us as educators and they look forward to a very bright future for their kids."