Tonasket School Board calls special meeting

TONASKET – The Tonasket School Board has called a special meeting for Monday, Feb. 17, to review and discuss the failure of the Feb. 11 bond election.

While the replacement maintenance and operations levy is passing with a nearly 60 percent vote the vote for the bond, which required 60 percent to pass, had received only 50.7 percent of the tally as of Tuesday’s count.

“We’re hoping the public will attend the meeting,” said Superintendent Paul Turner. “We’re seeking their input on what direction we should take in the future.”

By favoring the levy but not the construction bond, the public in effect supported the funding of the additional staff needed to extend the school day to what is considered a “full day,”  but not a place to put them.  Additional staff is required to implement the extension of the school day back to a full day of school for the first time in nearly 20 years, when it was reduced by about 45 minutes as part of budget cuts. However, without the funds to expand the elementary and high school facilities, finding classroom space to accommodate those classes will pose a new set of problems in buildings that already experience overcrowding issues.

Additionally, the portable housing the Alternative School has reached the end of its life span. The athletic facilities were also slated for upgrades, including the need for restroom facilities.

The school board held nearly two dozen public meetings throughout the expansive district.

The bond that financed the construction of the existing facilities was paid off in December.

Monday’s meeting, at the district’s administration board room, will begin at 7:00 p.m.