In May, a committee of citizens will be selected to make recommendations to trustees on what should be included in the bond, according to a presentation by Sandra Hayes, assistant superintendent of district operations. Members will be selected based on recommendations by the board as well as residents who respond to a call put out by the district.
The committee will meet several times throughout the fall before bringing recommendations to the board Dec. 7. The board will then finalize the bond package in February and begin voter education efforts. Early voting will be held April 19-27, and election day is May 1.
The district has historically operated on a five-year bond election cycle. Bond elections ask taxpayers for permission to issue bonds to pay for one-time, large-scale expenses, such as school construction or repairs, bus purchases, or equipment and technology for schools. Bonds are paid off through the debt service portion of RISD’s property tax rate.
Action teams made up of parents, educators and administrators have been sharing information and making recommendations to trustees about the district’s future needs for the past several months. The citizen committee will use these recommendations to narrow down what projects should be included in the bond package.
“We are talking about this [now] because we want to stay on a really good schedule that will allow for us to have lots of engagement with our community.,” Superintendent Jeannie Stone said.