I am proud of Nebraska's community colleges and grateful for their programs. They deserved to be thanked and supported for contributing to an improved future for students and a skilled work force in Nebraska.
However, Southeast Community College now requests approval from 15 counties for a $369 million dollar bond. Aside from student tuition and fees, most SCC needs are funded by real estate taxes paid by land, building, and home owners. Property owners must also support city and county operations and much of preK-12 education.
The Beatrice School Board wants approval for a $35 million dollar bond to build a new, consolidated elementary and pre-school building. As the result of wrongful convictions, Gage County could require over $33 million dollars and Beatrice may need an additional $30 million dollars over the next 4 to 5 years for city projects.
It is estimated that over the next 30 years these four projects and their interest would result in over $145 million dollars of additional property taxes within Gage County.
Given the amount requested, more information from SCC is needed before voters commit to such long-term, substantial debt and education structure. Questions multiply without answers.
Until educational funding is restructured to be more equitable, I can't vote for the proposed projects. This SCC bond proposal can wait until “the sand settles” and voters know more. The college will function well a while longer without brand new buildings.
Don Schuller, Wymore