Voters in Knoxville school district face two questions on Tuesday’s ballots

Knoxville School District residents have a few choices to make on Election Day Tuesday.

Voters living in District 202 can even pull non-partisan ballots to answer two non-binding advisory questions being asked by the district.

Superintendent Steve Wilder says both relate to increased costs so board members wanted taxpayers to weigh in.

Although, because the questions are non-binding the final decision is up to the board.

One of those involves allowing the children of district teachers to attend Knoxville schools tuition-free, and the other is related to installing artificial turf on the football field at $1.1 million.

The board estimates that artificial turf on the football field would cost around $1.1 million, which they would have to sell bonds to pay for.

Superintendent Wilder says for about a year the District 202 board has discussed building a solar array on school property.

The District is interested in entering into a power purchase agreement with a solar company, but they would need to figure out where the panels would go.

The most obvious place to put the panels is a space now that’s used for marching band, football practice, and gym classes.

“If we knew that we were going to move forward with the turf project, that would create a surface for a facility where all three of those groups and others would be able to use that surface day in and day out without really needing to worry about the wear and tear on the surface themselves,” Wilder told WGIL.

The other question is whether the district should waive tuition for certain students that don’t live within the district.

“The only case we would consider that is if their parent or guardian was a staff member or employee of the school district. Essentially, you’re waiving tuition for those students and there would be a slight additional cost to the district, depending on what grade those students would be placed in and those sorts of things.”

Wilder says teachers enroll their children in Knoxville for the convenience of being on the same school calendar at their kids.

He says approving this would be an opportunity to retain those staff members and not force them into a decision where they would need to move into the district.

Wilder says the board believes both are worthwhile initiatives, but because they would mean costs increases they wanted to get the public’s opinion.

Tags: ,