Tech Center vote postponed
The election due to be held at Yarbrough last Tuesday has been postoned to July. What follows is an explanation as to the change.
By TRAVIS METCALF
The Guymon Daily Herald
The vote for a Texas County Career Technology Center has been rescheduled from May 9 to July 25 after a miscommunication as to how the vote would be counted.
Guymon Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Mike Parkhurst said the vote had been advertised as a vote separated into school districts but instead it had been set up as a county-wide vote.
Parkhurst came to the decision when he was asked a question at a Career Tech Committee meeting in Hardesty. A woman who lived in Adams asked how her vote would be guaranteed as a vote in the Hardesty School District . Parkhurst couldn't answer the question.
“We went to the elections board and found out that the vote was set up as a county-wide vote,” Parkhurst said. “It was not what we promoted and it was not what we wanted. It was a communications snafu.”
The Career Tech Committee wanted an election between all of Texas County 's School Districts .
“Our committee, obviously, we were frustrated by the delay,” Parkhurst said. “But when we found out that was how they were going to count the votes, we were the ones that postponed the election.”
Instead of a special election on May 9, the vote will take place on the same day as Oklahoma 's primary elections on July 25.
“It will be changed to where each individual school district will get a vote,” Parkhurst said. “We want this to be a Texas County Career Tech Center , not just a two or three school district Center .”
If the Career Tech Center is to be approved by the voters, a tax increase will also have to be passed by voters for the Tech Center to get the final go ahead.
Parkhurst said there was no way to tell yet how much taxes would have to be increased.
“We don't know how many schools are going to join and we don't know the curriculum the board will offer and each curriculum has a cost that helps effect what the tax increase will be,” Parkhurst said.
Parkhurst said the Career Tech is important because of some staggering numbers about Texas County . Mainly that Texas County has one of highest high school drop-out rate of any county in Oklahoma , with a 3.9 percent. Also 32 percent of the adult population in Texas County does not have a high school diploma or Graduate Equivalency Diploma.
Parkhurst also said only 73 out of 100 high school freshman drop out before graduating.
“This is beneficial to high school students, young adults and business and industry, Parkhurst said. “Some Career Tech programs can be feeder programs into OPSU.”
A Career Tech Center was put up for a vote a couple times before in the late 1980s and early 1990s, however it failed both times.
Parkhurst said the difference between then and now is, the vote then was a Panhandle-wide vote, this vote will just be a Texas County vote.
“Logistics of Panhandle-wide votes just haven't worked out,” Parkhurst said. “From what I have seen there have been a lot of positive comments about our need for a Career Tech Center .”
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