Ozark school superintendent Dan Payant says if a tax referendum doesn't pass, they will have to close three schools. Officials say those schools are in critical need of improvements.
Architects have identified $16-million worth of needed work.
The Ozark School Board and City Council unanimously voted to go ahead with the tax referendum for improvements. If the proposal passes, the average homeowner will pay an additional $40 per year or $3.33 a month.
Payant says if the proposal doesn't pass the school board will be forced to close Flowers Center, Thompkins Early Childhood Center...and D.A. Smith Middle School or Eastgate School.
In addition, 6th 7th and 8th graders would consolidate into one middle school, with more than 700 students.
Payant says closing the schools would be the best thing financially, but he says it would not be in the best interest of the children.
Voters go to the polls on may 11th. If the tax measure fails, consolidation will likely take place beginning next school year.
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