Licking County voters to decide school bond issue for the sixth time

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JOHNSTOWN, Ohio (WCMH) — Could the sixth time be the charm? The Northridge Local Schools Superintendent Scott Schmidt sure hopes so as voters prepare to go to the polls tomorrow to decide a bond issue that would fund ongoing maintenance of the middle and high school buildings while securing funding to build a new elementary school. 

The elementary school would be located near the middle and high school, centralizing education in the 127 square mile district. 

Currently, primary school kids are using a nearly 100-year-old school building in Alexandria. 

An expansion was added in the 50s increasing its footprint, but the building is out of date for modern educational needs, according to Schmidt. 

For nearly a half a decade the district has been asking the community to pass the bond issue that would allow them to build a new school. It has been rejected every time. 

The first time it went down in defeat behind around 900 no votes; the last time it failed by only 70 votes. 

Schmidt is optimistic they have finally structured the deal to the satisfaction of a majority of voters. 

Richard Burkholder has been against the measure from the start. 

For him, the issues aren’t the amount of money the district is asking for specifically, and he admits the kids need a new building. 

His problem is with how much administrators are being paid in the district, especially in light of the district’s state report card. 

He thinks the administrators should be paid closer to the median household income in the district. 

Right now he claims they make close to double that on average, while the students’ test scores are not where he thinks they should be. 

If the measure does not pass on Tuesday, Schmidt says the district will go back to square one and return to the community to figure out what they can do to convince them to support the bond issue. 

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