OPS board misses bond election deadline

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-29 19:20:58-04

More trouble for Nebraska’s largest school district. The Omaha Public School board scrambles after missing a deadline for the second part of multi-million dollar bond issue.

The move could delay millions of dollars for school upgrades leaving many asking what's next.

“So now the board is talking about how do we move forward with this,” said Omaha World-Herald education reporter Erin Duffy who said the board has its work cut out for them, “They are kind of back to square one so they are going to have to kind of balance figuring out how to get a second bond on the ballot with trying to find a new superintendent.”

Back in 2014, about 60-percent of voters approved a historic $241-million dollar bond upgrading schools across the district.

“You had a new board who had come in 2013, you had a new superintendent and you kind of had a bit of a honeymoon period, and there was quite a bit of support for it then,” said Duffy.

But times have changed, this superintendent search may have soured public perception of the board.

“Now you’ve got a different kind of climate in terms of you’ve got some new board members who are trying to get caught up to speed on putting together a bond issue you don’t know who the next superintendent will be and you’ve got some people in the community who are clearly upset over how the superintendent search kind of fizzled out,” said Duffy.

Earlier this month board member Lou Ann Goding spoke in front of a PTA group about the missed deadline looking at other options for passing a bond.

‘There are other things that can happen in my mind we don’t have to wait until next may. we can do what’s called a mail in ballot so I’ve asked board officers to look into the cost of that and find out what it would take to do that I think that’s an option,” said Goding.

Duffy said the bond issue may be something where the board can come together on.

OPS board president Lacey Merica last week hinted at having a special board meeting this week but nothing so far.

The next scheduled meeting is at 6:30p.m. on Monday.