Jay Evensen: Jordan bond the victim of overreach and miscalculation

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  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 8, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    It's simplistic to say that Utahns refuse to pay for education. They refuse to give school administrators, who have not gained their trust, a blank check. The poorly articulated bond issue simply stated, we need the money so give us half a billion dollars and trust us to use it wisely.

  • Madden Herriman, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:59 p.m.

    Why do we think we can just follow tradition and succeed here? Why aren't we building campuses that be cheaply remodeled to convert an elementary school into a middle school as the youth demographic changes? Why aren't we designing buildings to better handle e-learning for lectures, where teachers then spend their valuable time teaching individuals rather than giving static lectures? We can do so much better, the literature is out there showing what approaches and programs work, yet we refuse to change.

    I have no problem funding schools, but I refuse to hand over a blank check when the board gives no vision. I could find almost no information on how the board planned to use the money wisely. What I could find tended to show they were 25%+ high in their average building costs compared to most schools. Nothing was reassuring. Hence the voters said no.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:08 p.m.

    Why did it fail? Utahns are simply unwilling to pay the price to educate their children. It is a form of dishonesty.

  • Daniel L. Murray, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    I didn't think we had much of an option on this one, we have the greatest growth in the valley and kids need classrooms. The east side didn't want to help fund the west's growth even though the west was there when the east was growing, and now the west side doesn't either. I think we could consider other options for school construction, since we know in 30 years when areas mature the district may have to sell some properties off like they are doing on the east side. Couldn't we consider temporary schools, we have thousands of kids already in portable classrooms, so why not build entire schools with that same idea. Construction would be much cheaper and the district can more easily sell it off - or construct more permanent structures later on.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 11:31 a.m.

    @beehive801, Jordan district voters more than likely would have approved a smaller bond. I know that I spoke with several voters who were supportive of the idea of bonding for schools in the district, but the size of this bond was just too much for them. A smaller bond most likely would have passed.

  • beehive801 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Jay Evensen: I realize it is difficult for you to objectively analyze this situation since you live in the Jordan District, but it is hardly fair to pin the blame on Canyons District. You write the "Jordan District deserves a strong dose of sympathy. Seven years ago, the Legislature dabbled with the idea of allowing just about any city, or group of cities, to form their own school districts as a way to improve education. The Jordan District became the guinea pig and, as it turned out, the only victim of this idea."

    If anything the results of Jordan's failed bond election validate the very necessity and reason for east-side communities to form their own school district. They are willing to pay for their schools (approving a bond in 2010); Jordan District isn't (rejecting its bond in 2013). Voters in both districts spoke and got what they wanted.

    I might add, too, that Canyons continues to pay the bond debt from Jordan's 2003 bond even though it realized only one new elementary school out of $281 million. Why should Canyons continue to prop up your communities when you are unwilling to pay your own way?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    Just curious, what is wrong with mobile classrooms or year round schools?

    I read a statement by a proponent of this bond saying if the bond isn't passed these would be the alternatives.

    Okay, so what. .... were my thoughts in response.

  • Utah Dem Ogden, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    I don't have any personal stake in this just a few questions.

    Could have shaved $15 mil off this list and let the ATC go after their own funding for the Sandy campus.

    Did the JSD apply for any grants or other funding sources rather than trying to do everything on the backs of the taxpayers?

    Did you truly need to attempt this large bond amount all at once? Why not incrementally since much of it is based on growth which is an unknown?

  • thojo1691 Herriman/Salt Lake, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 6:11 a.m.

    "Only real and radical statewide education reform would give it the tools necessary to deal with its growth. But it might be easier to try grabbing stars from the sky.'
    Given the "anti-education" attitude of the state legislature it would be easier to grab stars than to have "real" changes made to reliably fund education in the state of Utah.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2013 3:03 a.m.

    Re: "Only real and radical statewide education reform would give [Jordan District] the tools necessary to deal with its growth."

    Translation -- "since the real people of Jordan District have made it clear they won't subsidize 'educators' plans for gold-plated bloat, go after spineless, mindless politicians in the state legislature, and see if they'll inflict that bloat on the whole state."

    Seems like media elites aren't listening very hard to the obvious lessons of this election, either.