Hastings Public Schools Reminds Voters that Bond Issue on May 12 Ballot is Not a Tax Increase

HASTINGS – On the May 12 primary election ballot, Hastings Public Schools has a $6 million bond issue regarding Morton Elementary. They want to remodel the 90 year old facility to turn it into a preschool center and the new administrators office. They will sell their current administrators office. This will not be a tax increase in any way and this is the final phase of their three phase elementary school project. Jeff Schneider, the Superintendent of Hastings Public Schools, says that getting all of the pre school classes into the same building will simplify everything for them.

We currently have nine preschool classrooms. We have four rooms at Alcott, three at Hawthorne, and two at Lincoln Elementary. The problem with that is, every year we get kindergarten enrollment, if we get a large kindergarten enrollment in one building we have to try and find an empty room and move them. And sometimes that happens as late, maybe, a week before school starts. Very disruptive to the parents, the kids, and obviously the teachers. It’s not a very good set up. Preschool is not the same as K-5 elementary. So to have a center that would be just focused on preschool would be a huge advantage for our youngest students.

All of those preschool classrooms will be moved into Morton which will make the bussing more simple. It would also allow the schedule to be catered to the preschool children and it will be a more efficient use of staff. Schneider said if this were to be a tax increase they would be telling people to vote no, considering the current economic climate.

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