CLOVER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – Clover School District has a nearly $200 million bond referendum on the table that comes with a tax increase for residents. District leaders say schools are at capacity and they need more room and funds to grow.
Clover School District is bringing forth the largest bond referendum in the district’s history to help the district deal with growth. Leaders say this is the best way to collect funds.
Clover School District’s Bryan Dillon says, “In the State of South Carolina they don’t provide any funding for new buildings. So the only way to get funding from buildings is to propose it to your community and have your community vote on that.”
Growth in numbers is the reason these Clover School District’s leaders are bringing this $197 million bond referendum to the table. That referendum would not only cover new buildings but it would also cover much-needed renovations as well.
“Based on our numbers and our growth we need space in the middle school level and we need space in the elementary level especially on the eastern portion of our district where we’re growing at the highest rate,” says Dillon.
The 2014 bond referendum for $66 million went toward Oakridge Middle, the 9th grade campus and other renovations. Organizations against the referendum say they aren’t against projects but question if now is the time.
President of the Reaganites of York County, Frank Trotta, says, “Do we really need buildings or should we be using it for other things? Teacher salaries and other things. Our own school report card that the school district puts out says that 43%, 43.7% of our graduates aren’t college/career ready, that’s just appalling and we need to be spending the money on the students not buildings I think.”
Trotta says the referendum would increase residents property taxes to 30% and believes funds should go toward other needs. Those for the bond referendum like Chair of “Vote YES”, Geoff Dubiski says he believes the referendum will help the school district catch up with growth.
“People are moving to this area for a number of reasons, the culture, the value, it’s a wonderful area to be at and phenomenal schools. Ranks second in the state only against Fort Mill and so, that being an attractive, part of that growth is going to obviously be to meet the need of the students coming in as well.”
Dubiski says the bond referendum funds are an investment in the community’s future.
In the video above, CN2’s Rachel Richardson is hearing from voters who are in support of the referendum and against it.