AFL-CIO endorses April 11 bond referendum to support Jordan public schools
Early voting, now underway, runs through April 10
|School district logo for April 11, 2023 bond referendum in Jordan
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, March 25, 2023
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
JORDAN — If you live in the Jordan school district, mark Tuesday, April 11 on your calendar. That’s the last day to vote on a local referendum to approve a bond request by the Jordan Public Schools.
The Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation, AFL-CIO has endorsed a “yes” vote. Support also is urged by the local teachers union — Education Minnesota Jordan — and by the Laborers union, as well as by a local citizens committee, “Safe Schools for a Strong Community.”
The nearly $35 million bond referendum would fund needed improvements for Jordan Elementary School and for Jordan High School, with the bulk of improvements at the elementary school.
“We’re going for essential needs,” said Jordan resident Sara Sievers, who is president of Education Minnesota Jordan and a special education teacher at Jordan High School.
The estimated tax impact for 2024 for a home with a $300,000 market value would be only $27 per month, according to the school district website (jordan.k12.mn.us).
A link to a tax calculator on the school district website even allows homeowners to learn the estimated tax impact for their individual property.
One of the most important planned improvements for both the elementary school and the high school will be “safe and secure entrances” to better control visitor access, Sievers said.
At the elementary school, other planned improvements include updating a wing of 1970s classrooms, building a six-classroom addition, building a new gymnasium, and creating additional cafeteria space.
Right now, limited cafeteria space means that lunch periods begin as early as 10:50 a.m. and continue as late as 1:05 p.m., with some students eating in classrooms or in multi-purpose rooms, Sievers said.
In addition, a space shortage means that the elementary school has been turning away families who want to enroll their children in pre-K programs.
“We sure would like to not have to turn away any students because of space,” Sievers said.
Adam Hutchens, a local marketing director for the Laborers International Union of North America, sees support for the bond referendum as a win for students, for the community and for workers.
“LIUNA is always looking for ways to support community growth through quality, family-supporting jobs,” he said. “Our members live and work in Jordan and we hope to do our part to help pass the bonding referendum.”
“After the district sought community input for the bonding request, the community members agreed for the need to update the security and safety systems in the schools,” Hutchins noted. “Every child deserves a safe school and with LIUNA members working on the project, they will take pride in ensuring a quality place for students to learn and grow.”
Hutchens reported that LIUNA is working to enlist other trades to support the Jordan bond referendum and welcomed trades volunteers for a coming phonebank. The phonebank will be Wednesday, March 29 from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the United Labor Centre, 312 Central Ave. SE in Minneapolis.
To volunteer for the phonebank, contact Hutchens at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hutchens added that LIUNA has made a contribution to help cover the cost of a mailer to the community about the proposed improvements.
Investing in local public schools, after all, is about investing in local students and the future of the community.
“This is a really exciting opportunity to provide our future community members the environment they need to thrive in,” Jordan teachers union president Sara Sievers said. “I can’t think of a better way to spend our funds.”
Election day voting on the referendum will take place Tuesday, April 11 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the CERC, 500 Sunset Drive, Jordan.
Early in-person voting will be available through April 10 at school district offices, 500 Sunset Drive, Suite 1, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
For more information: jordan.k12.mn.us