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Superintendent Press Release October 7, 2022

Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,

As you know, we have finally broken ground on our new facility. If you have been reading my weekly superintendent newsletter posted to our Facebook page, I have been talking about this project since last year when we signed the contract with Cheever Construction to be our General Manager on this project.

With assistance from the ESSER Funds that has provided close to one million dollars and with what we have been saving for the past 5 years when this project was identified by our school board; we finally will see this goal achieved. The 13,140 square foot facility will house a kitchen, bathrooms, cafeteria, and multiple purpose space that can serve as a second gym and is scheduled to be completed in August of 2023.  This new facility will eventually be linked to our current space and is scheduled as phase 2 after more funding has been secured. Eventually, we will also secure more funding through QCPUF bonds (Hazard and Safety Funds) to redesign the current kitchen and cafeteria space into classrooms, a library and a harden space for emergency safety and security. Here is a picture of what it should look like when completed: Also here is a weblink that I hope to continually update as the construction continues. We hope to add badly needed parking space to the south as well, changing our bus lane to exit to the West once the link is completed.  In the State of Nebraska, the Legislation provides NO financial support to public schools for construction of buildings.  Instead, the legislation provides a taxing formula of 14 cents that a school can levy to be set aside for future projects. Most States provide money through grants, bond repayment programs or reimbursements to Public Schools for infrastructure because they understand that just like a house that might need repairs and upkeep, public schools also need to make alterations, improvements and if growing may need to add space.  Here is a link showing how States fund Public School infrastructure: and while I’m not an expert on funding in other States, as I read through this list Nebraska, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, South Dakota and Wisconsin are the only States that leave capital outlay up to each district and its taxpayers. I told you last week that Nebraska ranks 43rd in funding for Public Schools, this is one of reasons and one of the reasons Nebraska ranks 44th in property tax rates. Public Schools are funded by a 3-legged stool consisting of property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes. Over the past 15 years as assessed valuations have risen the leg on the property tax has shifted. The “three-legged stool” is not in alignment. An analysis of taxes paid in 2020 by University of Nebraska ag economist David Aiken indicates that property taxes account for 38% of the state’s total tax payments, with sales taxes amounting to 29% of the total, and income taxes 26%. And yet the Nebraska Legislation continues to make cuts to corporate sales taxes and the top 1% income taxpayers which will only make this 3-legged stool more unbalanced. Even Warren Buffett has called on Nebraska legislators to enact the “Buffett Rule” where he would be required to pay the same taxes as the middle class. Bill Gates recently made a similar statement:  When the wealthy know the taxing formular isn’t fair, maybe it’s time to listen. #Wildcat Pride!

Linked below is the picture gallery of the progress made on the new space