Dubuque Community Schools working to educate public on ins and outs of bond referendum

DBQ School Bond Group
Published: Sep. 24, 2023 at 10:29 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - “We really want people to know the truth about the bond,” said Dubuque Community School District Superintendent Amy Hawkins.

Voters in the school district will see a $150 million dollar bond referendum when they head to the ballot box this November.

Hawkins said now is the time for voters to ask questions and for officials to clear up misconceptions about the bond.

“There’s rumors that, you know, all the students from Washington and Jefferson are going to one building, that we’re looking to build this grand middle school,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins said, if the bond referendum passes, the district would consolidate three middle schools into two, but the divide would not be as clear-cut as Washington and Jefferson students to one school with Roosevelt as the other. She said some students currently zoned for Roosevelt would go to the new school.

“If you live in the Senior High School district, you would go to the new middle school, and if you live in the Hempstead district, you would go to Roosevelt Middle School,” said Hawkins.

There’s a long list of other changes:

  • getting air conditioning for schools without a/c
  • a new gym at Eisenhower Elementary
  • a new baseball and softball complex.
  • and buying land to build a new elementary school

“When we look at inflation and things like that, doing this now is much more cost effective. Right now, it’s important for us to be in front of the public, getting out our message,” said Hawkins.

Part of the message is that, even if the referendum passes, property taxes won’t change. Hawkins says instead of lowering taxes due to declining enrollment, the rate will stay steady to fund the bond.

TV9 asked Hawkins if she thought the bond would pass in November.

“I’m going to say yes,” said Hawkins. ‘We’re very positive and very optimistic.”

Until then, officials will keep working to answer questions and clear up rumors.

“This is really important for our community to reach out and for us to go to them.”

The next information session for members of the public is Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Eisenhower Elementary School at 5:30 p.m. You can also find more information online here.