Why a Millage Increase is Needed
The Bryant School District will grow from 9,300 students this year to a projected 12,500 students within eight years.
• Classrooms and multi-use spaces have reached or are near maximum enrollment now; new facilities are needed to house the growing student population.
• To recruit and retain the best teachers and staff for our students, the school district must keep salaries competitive.
• Arkansas state law requires the district to provide space to adequately educate children in warm, safe and dry facilities.
• Aging facilities and major systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical) are beyond expected life cycles. These systems and facilities need to be replaced.
Improvements with Millage Funding
- New schools to relieve overcrowding
- Competitive salary plan for teachers and staff
- Increase and expand educational opportunities for students
- Replace outdated facilities
What’s the Plan?
Projects Completed 2018
The new elementary school (grades K-5) will be built on Daley Road off Hilldale.
Bus and vehicle traffic on the main campus will be reduced by moving Maintenance & Transportation facilities to Hill Farm property. This relocation will provide space for parking and future construction on the high school campus.
Projects Completed 2019
A new junior high school (grades 8-9) will be constructed on the Hill Farm property, moving approximately 800 eighth graders off the two middle school campuses. Reducing this number of students at middle schools allows for growth in grades 6 & 7.
With approximately 800 ninth grade students attending the new junior high, Bryant High School will house grades 10-12, with room to accommodate growth in student population.
The new junior high will remove 1,200 students from the main campus, reducing traffic congestion.
Nine buildings on the high school campus have been identified by the State as beyond support for renovation. These buildings will be torn down to provide space for future construction, including the dining and kitchen project, PE facility, fine arts center and new classrooms for projected growth.
A second new elementary school (grades K-5) will be constructed.
- Bethel Middle canopy
- Hurricane Creek road relocation for playground expansion
- Elimination of Salem wastewater treatment plant
- Replace flooring surfaces in PE facilities at Collegeville, Davis and Springhill
- Hornet Stadium upgrades
- 3-year salary plan to recruit and retain the best teachers and staff
- Expansion of instructional programs
- Increase maintenance & operation budgets
- Acquisition of property for future growth
- Saving for future facilities needs
Facilities Plan – Project
Facilities Plan – Narrative
How does Bryant’s CURRENT millage rate compare to neighboring school districts?
|Bryant||37.2 (40.8 mills with proposed 3.6 mil increase)|
|N. Little Rock||48.3|
Since the failed millage in March 2015, Bryant Schools has saved over $18 million for the building fund through budget cuts and greater efficiencies.
The district has operated under a conservative budget resulting in Bryant ranking 3rd in the state for efficiency as measured by expenditure per student.
Even though the district has saved money for buildings and spends efficiently, this is not a long-term solution for new facilities. The district cannot save money for facilities at the rate needed to accommodate the high student growth.
As of October 2016, the district has saved a total of $18,759,319 for constructing new facilities.
The Arkansas Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation (Facilities Division) has approved $36 million in State funds for the following projects: a new elementary; a new junior high; a new cafeteria, fine arts center, and PE facility at the high school.
Bryant Schools redesigned the previous facilities plan to make the district eligible to receive more state funds than in the past. In the 2015 election, the district was approved for $18 million in state funding. Since the millage did not pass, the $18 million was returned to the state and distributed to other school districts.
In order to receive the $36 million in Partnership Funding, the District is required to provide its share of funds for state-approved projects.
The current millage rate is 37.2. The District is proposing to raise the millage rate by 3.6 mills for the selling of bonds to generate approximately $65 million dollars for capital improvements. If the initiative is approved by voters, the new rate will be 40.8 mills.
Should the millage fail, the district could be required to forfeit some or all the $36 million in state Partnership Funding and face possible Facilities Distress.
Bryant Schools has secured almost half (46%) of the funds needed for the improvements. The remaining 54% would be funded by the 3.6 mill increase.
District Savings (16%) + State Partnership (30%) + Patrons Millage (54%) = Projects Funded at 100%
How much will the 3.6 mill increase cost the average homeowner?
Average Home Value in Bryant: $150,000
Additional Average Cost: 30¢ Per Day
|Assessed Property Value||Annual Increase||Monthly Increase||Daily Increase|
Determine your property tax increase:
Assessed Property Value x 20% x .0036 (3.6 mills) = Annual Increase
REGISTER TO VOTE BY MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13 FOR EARLY AND ELECTION DAY VOTING.
Who Can Vote?
Registered voters living in the Bryant School District (not only the city of Bryant) are eligible to vote. This includes areas of Alexander, Benton, Salem, Mabelvale, Shannon Hills, Paron, Bauxite, and Avilla. Check voter eligibility at voterview.ar-nova.org, then click Registration Information.
Absentee ballots are available here.
Early Voting Begins Tuesday, March 7
Tuesday, March 7 – Friday, March 10 and *Monday, March 13
Vote Here Center
221 N. Main St, Benton
8am – 4:30pm
*Vote Here Center will be the ONLY early voting location open on Monday, March 13.
Grace Church of Bryant
4200 Hwy 5 N, Bryant
10am – 4:30pm
ELECTION DAY: TUESDAY, MARCH 1 4
*Voters May Vote at Any of the Following Locations
Tuesday, March 14 from 7:30am – 7:30pm
Woodland Hills Water Dept.
Vimy Ridge Baptist Church
Grace Church of Bryant
First Southern Baptist Church
Central Arkansas Church of Christ
Avilla Community Center
Salem Methodist Church
Sardis United Methodist Church
*Voters are NOT required to vote at their local precinct; all polling locations are open to all registered voters.
POSSIBLE OUTCOMES OF FAILED MILLAGE
The district would be facing many unknowns. Since the inception of the Facilities Partnership Program, no other district in the State has been challenged with a loss of three millage elections. Bryant would be the first should this millage initiative fail.
The district could be designated in Facilities Distress due to its inability to provide space to adequately educate children in warm, safe and dry facilities. Local control of the budget could be lost as the AR Facilities Division may require the school district to stop all spending on programs not part of the State minimum requirements. The State could direct those funds to be placed in a facilities escrow account.
Types of non-mandated (or elective) programs could include ACT prep; career ed programs beyond the 3 required; AP courses beyond the 4 required; school resource officers; technology; learning specialists; nurses beyond state standards; out of state travel; Parent Center; student trips; staff travel; athletics; robotics; marching band; clubs, organizations and more.
Teacher and Staff Salaries
Bryant Public Schools would be unable to keep salaries competitive with other Saline County and Central Arkansas school districts. This would result in difficulty recruiting and retaining the best teachers and staff.
With higher salaries, all schools in the district would receive all of the benefits from best teachers and staff.
On March 14, please remember: Your Child, Your Vote.