The district is asking voters for a 6.7 mill increase, to pay for construction of a second high school as well as renovations at other schools in the district. The millage would increase property taxes on a $200,000 home by $22.33 a month.
Superintendent Mike Poore says a second high school is absolutely necessary to keep up with rising enrollment numbers
"This growth issue is not going away," Poore says. "We've got to solve it."59
Poore says the current high school is designed to hold 3,300 students at ideal capacity, and it's already over that, at 3,600. According to projections, Poore says the district will have 4,500 high school students by 2015.
"There's no way that you can get all those kids onto that campus," Poore says. "The facilities won't hold it."
Helene Carter has five young children. She can't imagine sending her kids to a high school with 4,500 kids.
"That seems like a whole town to me, not a high school," she says. "We need to do this now because it's going to take time to build."
But some early voters, like Cori Rockey say the the price per pupil is too high.
"I'd like to see them ask for a smaller amount," Rockey says. "Times are really tough. I mean, we're upside down on our house, and I just can't see paying more taxes."
The proposed school will hold 2,000 kids, and along with athletic facilities the price tag is estimated at just over $118 million.
"It feels like they're building a Taj Mahal, instead of a regular school," Rockey says.
Poore says the cost is $160 per square foot, lower than the average for school construction in Northwest Arkansas of $169.
"We'll make sure that we are building a building to get the most bang for our dollar so that we really serve kids well," he says.
Early voting continues through Monday, and the election is scheduled for Tuesday, for a list of polling locations as well as information on the proposal, visit the school district's website.