DUNCAN SCHOOL BOND: Upgrading classroom equipment, playgrounds

DUNCAN SCHOOL BOND: Upgrading classroom equipment, playgrounds

DUNCAN, Okla. (TNN) - If a Duncan School Bond is passed, more than $500,000 will be put directly into classrooms each year for the next decade.

In April, residents will head to the polls to decide on a $27.775 million bond. Each night this week, 7NEWS is taking a deep dive into different aspects of the bond. On Monday, the story focused on safe rooms. On Tuesday, it focused on upgrades to Halliburton Stadium and the Duncan High School auditorium.

Some teachers at Duncan Public Schools say they’ve gone more than a decade without new textbooks.

“I think our last math textbook was adopted 14 years ago. So, think high school kids with a book with 14 years of use, they’re in pretty bad shape,” said math teacher Darren Cobble. Superintendent Dr. Tom Deighan says addressing that issue was a top priority.

“The area of greatest agreement among staff and parents and community members we talked to was to make sure we have the equipment, materials, and technology in the hands of students on a daily basis. So, one-fifth of this bond, $5,250,000 goes directly into the hands of the students and staff on a daily basis. I think that is one of the most exciting areas of the bond,” Deighan said.

Deighan said that money would be allocated on a yearly basis, with $525,000 being used each year for the next 10. That money would be broken up into different categories. It’s expected that $150,000 would be used for textbooks. Another $150,000 would be used to maintain students’ technology needs. Roughly $90,000 would be used for extra-curricular equipment like band instruments and items for the ag department. The remaining $135,000 would be distributed based on need.

“Anything we do as a district that impacts students first and then staff is going to be our priority,” Deighan said.

That same principle applies to $1.855 million that would address issues with playgrounds.

“Playgrounds are a unique situation because we’ve done a good job with security outside of our building but we’ve discovered that our playgrounds need security fencing,” Deighan said.

Inside those fences, the district will address problems with equipment for special needs students. Some schools simply don’t have that equipment, but even the ones that do have issues using it.

“There are little black plastic barriers that go around the swing sets, which would be a step up which, of course, if you’re in a wheelchair that’s going to be difficult. So right now, we have to pick them up out of the wheelchair and place them in the swing,” said pre-k teacher Marcia Vaughn.

Deighan says if the bond is passed, there isn’t expected to be any tax increase for Duncan voters.

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