A recent bond has been passed to give funding towards the Bartlesville school district. The bond that passed provide a little over 17.9$ million to the school district through the course of the next three years.
The athletics department is getting funding under the portions dedicated to “activities” and “facilities”. Those portions are 3% and 21% of the bond respectively. The activities portion is going towards both the fine arts and athletics while the facility projects are going towards an array of things like the baseball fields, press box, and the agriculture building.
The money that is being distributed through the athletics department has been a topic of discussion amongst the student athletes and coaches. Some people think the current funding before the bond is satisfactory.
“The funding for sports are at a fair rate because from what I have seen in cross country, track, and tennis,” senior athlete Brycen Taylor said. “I was able to obtain all of the necessary materials to both play and practice.”
Some feel like there is an imbalance of funding between sports.
“It’s hard to distribute the money evenly but I do think some sports such as cross country are left out,” senior athlete Brooke Bluhm said.
The facility projects within the bond were thought out in order to save more money in the long run.
“Turfing both of those is going to save money on long term maintenance,” vice principal Michael Harp said. “It saves the district money and allowed them to use money on other things like curriculum and anything that save the curriculum money is positive”
The money saved and possibly gained by building these facilities will be able to go towards an array of things within the school.
“The press box will allow competitions for band which would bring more money into the school which could be used for other things,” Harp said.
With the concerns towards the distribution of funds, people recognize the difficulty involving equity.
“It’s equitable because things like band cost more than art,” Harp said.
Some people know that the district is trying to fund activities in an equitable way but some still notice some activities that may be underfunded.
“Some sports cost more than others and this makes it hard to distribute the money equally but I know volleyball had to do a lot of fundraising this year for new jerseys etc… this money came from sponsoring and people participating in some events, also the XC team I know raises most of their money for everything,” Bluhm said.
Funding is based on long term goals. It is next to impossible to cover everything in a single bond issue so many rely on long term plans that decide when something like a certain sport should gain funding. While it may seem like nothing is going toward a particular activity, there is a large possibility that it is currently being worked on.
“If students feel unfunded I would first go talk to that teacher or coach and ask if they are missing something because they might be getting something next year,” Harp said. “I’m willing to bet it’s either in the strategic plan, we are asking for student input and for students to join committees to let your voice be heard.”
Everyone makes mistakes so sharing concerns may help build a better future plan for equitable funding. There is always a possibility that shared concerns could help shed light on things that may be neglected.
“No one is perfect,” Harp said. “I’m not saying there aren’t things that aren’t overlooked.”
People within the administration appreciate that people are voicing their concerns for review.
“I think we are very blessed at Bartlesville to have community support and a school district that really values student input,” Harp said. “I always encourage student input,”