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Parents react to OPS bond passing

Posted at 6:10 PM, May 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-17 19:10:47-04

The Omaha school district will soon begin building five new schools after voters gave OPS the green light to issue $410 million in bonds.

The new buildings will include two high schools. Omaha's newest high schools were built in the 1970s.

It's something that many parents say is long overdue. Tim Rexius and his wife, Brittney, have four kids in the OPS district. Their youngest, Noah, just graduated from preschool Thursday. He will be their fifth OPS student.

"Omaha public schools needs more schools that's just a fact," Tim Rexius said.

The family has talked about sending their kids elsewhere for school, but not because of the quality of their education.

"Actually the education's been great," he said. "I have no complaints whatsoever with any of our kids. Most of our kids are in honors courses. We thought about not enrolling them in OPS just because of the fact that I thought it was outdated, and that they were overcrowded. And it seemed like they could never figure out what grade was going to be at what school. And schools had added buildings that looked like trailer houses because they were overflowing in the first place. And you look at some of the out of bounds school districts, they are much more up to date."

The parents say the new bond referendum passed earlier this week helps solidify their decision to keep their kids in the district.

But others say the nearly $410 million bond is an unnecessary investment and puts the district as risk of taking on too much debt while also facing a budget shortfall. Concerns have also been raised about property tax increases and traffic flow.

For the Rexius's, they say it hopefully keeps their children in Omaha for the long haul.

"We live in Omaha, we'd like our kids to stay in Omaha."