Millard Public Schools has a reputation for high standards, capable leadership and strong public support. Millard’s $125 million school bond proposal on the May 12 ballot illustrates the district’s forward thinking and well deserves voter approval.
The bond proposal is needed to help the district properly maintain its facilities and boost security. Among the examples: Roof repairs could stay on an appropriate 20-year cycle. Two elementary schools built in 1964 would receive renovations. Millard South High School would get a more secure vestibule-type entrance, similar to the one at Millard North.
In all, the district would spend $53.4 million on major renovations, $45.5 million on summer maintenance projects and $9 million on safety and security. The remainder would go toward energy-efficiency projects and replacing furniture and capital equipment.
School officials developed the bond proposal conscientiously. Superintendent Jim Sutfin carried out discussions throughout the district to assess the range of school needs. He emphasized a budgetarily disciplined approach. The school board weighed the range of needs and pared down the bond proposal to a responsible scale.
As board member Mike Kennedy observed, “It’s about needs over wants, and we’ve worked very hard on this.”
Passage of the bond would mean a 1-cent increase in the district’s property tax levy. On a $200,000 house, that would mean an additional annual cost of $20 — a bargain in considering the wide-ranging benefits achieved for the district’s needs.
The Millard school board has shown its dedication to sound budget management by making good on its promise not to use the entire 9-cent levy override authority that voters granted the district in 2017. The district leadership avoids spendthrift budgeting, and this bond proposal reflects that approach.
It takes sound management and long-term planning to properly care for the 35 schools and three support buildings for the Millard district. The average age of the district’s buildings is 38 years.
Millard residents have long demonstrated their enthusiastic support for their school district and its needs. Passage of the bond proposal would continue that proud tradition.