Elkhorn Public Schools Bond Election

The Wording

Unofficial Results:  from https://votedouglascounty.com/meer/Results2.pdf

FOR such Bonds and tax - 8,114      AGAINST such Bonds and tax - 5,131


Douglas County, Nebraska Special Election

November 14, 2023

"Shall Douglas County School District 0010 (Elkhorn Public Schools) in the State of Nebraska issue its general obligation bonds in an aggregate stated principal amount not to exceed One Hundred Twenty-two Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars ($122,900,000), to pay the costs of construction, acquisition and improvement of elementary school facilities; additions, renovations and improvements to the District's existing buildings and facilities; and providing necessary equipment and apparatus for such buildings and facilities; with such bonds to be issued in one or more series, at such time or times, to bear interest at such rate or rates, to be sold at such prices and to become due at such time or times as may be fixed by, or determined at the direction of, the Board of Education; and

"Shall the School District cause to be levied and collected annually a special levy of taxes against all the taxable property in the School District sufficient in rate and amount to pay the principal of and interest on such bonds as the same become due?"

(   )  FOR such Bonds and tax
(   )  AGAINST such Bonds and tax


Our Explanation

This is a by-mail-only election - though that does include drop-boxes at these locations:
  • Bess Johnson Public Library: 2100 Reading Plaza, Elkhorn
  • Spring Ridge Shopping Center: 17809 Pierce Plaza, Omaha, NE 68130 
  • Douglas County Election Commission Office: 12220 W Center Rd, Omaha, NE 68144

Ballots must be in the drop boxes by 8pm on November 14th.  If mailed, they should be in the mail by November 7th.  Be sure your signature is on the return envelope.

For the School District's point of view, see Community Presentation.  They also provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

They claim, "...Conservative projection that this bond issue will not raise the bond levy…NO TAX INCREASE."  However, home evaluation increases may mean an actual increase in taxes paid.  Also, the funds currently used in paying off old bonds can now be applied to this new bond. 

The selection of doing an off-year election allows for construction starts to create the least interference in school time. 

Those who support the bond say people need to recognize the need that the growth of the district is bringing about.  There are enough young children that two new elementary schools are needed, as well as the need for creating more space at the middle schools and the high school too.  Supporters also like that all the growth means a wider tax base so there is no need to increase the levy to be able to afford the needed improvements.  They also point out the losses that would happen if the bond isn't approved - having to uproot some children from current schools to redistribute to other places, increased class sizes, and having to spend money from the general fund to purchase portable classrooms when that money is supposed to be for staffing and teacher resources.
With no increase in the levy, those who oppose the bond, do so in matter of principle.  They think the system, bonding and paying interest over time, steals taxpayer dollars to be spent on interest instead of education.  They think the loss of income from decreasing the levy as old bonds are paid off could be replaced with decreasing the salaries of administrators and other upper level non-teachers.  By refusing the bond, the district would need to come up with creative solutions.