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Smithville set to vote on future of schools

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The maximum capacity of Smithville High  School is 852, with the enrolled amount  of students 834. When teachers are added that makes it about 887 – this does not account for the other staff and administration in the building, as well as daily visitors.  

Within the community, there are different reactions to this issue.  One place people are voicing these thoughts are on facebook.

“No no just more property tax!” said one user about the increase.

In an interview Traci Austin,mother of six in the school district responds to the tax increase saying “My children are definitely worth it”

Teachers, who know first hand what the average school day is like, also have thoughts on this change. Jake Sobbe, a first year teacher at Smithville, talks about his classes.

“(In the hallways) I don’t see mass chaos,” Sobbe said.

Sobbe’s class sizes range from 15, his smallest, to 28 he said .

“It’s a pretty good school, a really good school. Honestly the biggest confrontation I see is what the heck our school colors are,” Sobbe said.

On November 8th, the community is being asked to vote on two different questions, which will set the tone for how the community will be for years to come. For more information go to

The first question is, in a basic sense, is the Smithville School District asking if they can use the bond money of $12,500,000 to do things including, but not limited to: renovating the primary elementary and high school and adding classrooms to the high school.

“Over 300 students have classes in one of eight trailers on campus. Two 2nd grade classes are located in trailers,” according to

The second question is asks for a tax levy for funds to build a third elementary school. If it passes, there will be $.79 expanding the tax ceiling, changing the tax from $3.3808 to $4.1708  for every one hundred dollars of assessed valuation.

By building this extra school, there will be  less kids in the classrooms. Fewer kids in the schools could benefit the students learning and safety needs in the classroom.

“A few of my children have ADHD, and it very hard for them to focus when there’s a lot more kids in the class,” said Austin.

The decision made this November is one that will affect the school and community for years to come. Teachers, students ,staff , and parents will all  be defined by this choice whether they are for or against it. No matter what age, political party, or position in the community, they will all have to be apart of the transition together.

“Smithville is in a town also it in a really really, if you think politically, a red county. Clay County is actually ‘blue’ county but it’s in a ‘red’ part of the city. It’s also a really small town and people don’t have that much money here. So you don’t want to spend more money out of your own paycheck because we’re middle class…  I mean if it benefits the kids, I don’t see where you could go wrong,” Sobbe said.

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One Response to “Smithville set to vote on future of schools”

  1. Bob Duncan on November 1st, 2016 9:25 am

    Sick article dude