Utah County votes no on bond, school district split

Nov 9, 2022, 8:34 PM | Updated: Nov 10, 2022, 9:46 am

UTAH COUNTY, Utah — Parents and educators react to two major education issues shot down by Utah County voters on Election Day.

One was the Alpine School District’s $595 million bond that would be used to build new schools, upgrade old schools and outfit other schools with safety and security measures.

The other one was Proposition 2 in Orem. A chance for Orem City to break off from the Alpine School District and create its own district.

Orem City Mayor Dave Young said creating its own school district made perfect sense financially and educationally.

“Over the last 20 years there has been over $170 million that’s gone into the Alpine district that could be used for Orem and its own schools,” he said. “I think we’ve got the finances we’ve got the resources, we’ve got a lot of smart people around here. We’ve got good teachers, we’ve got everything we need to create a great school district.”

But voters didn’t agree. Over 70% of them shot it down.

One of them is Cissy Rassmussen, a mother of six kids who started a fierce grassroots campaign to stop the city from getting its own school district.

“I am thrilled (the results) turned out so much better than I thought,” Rassmussen said. “It was divisive, time-consuming and difficult, but we would be in a much more difficult place without Alpine giving us the money and resources needed to keep Orem schools healthy and thriving.”

But for Dani Rowan, from Pleasant Grove, the election results didn’t go the way she expected on the Alpine School District Bond, which failed.

“Feeling disappointed the bond didn’t pass,” Rowan said. “It seems like a no-brainer and I think this may be one of the first Alpine School District bonds that hasn’t passed.”

Rowan believes it is the result of the financial crisis, misinformation and the Orem Proposition 2 debate.

“I just think it’s this perfect storm, this environment that we live in, misinformation and a polarized community,” she said.

The Alpine School District released only a statement saying in part that they will continue their efforts to address the need for more schools, building renovations, and safety and security measures improvements. But they did not say how they would do that.

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Utah County votes no on bond, school district split