The Tea school district is reconsidering its future with plans for a new elementary school.
A bond vote to fund new projects for the Tea area schools has failed three times, but the school board plans to take another look at its options.
Tea Area Schools held a school board meeting Tuesday night, and the agenda includes long range planning, bond and capital outlay options.
The board unanimously approved a motion to pass a resolution for the June meeting to use no more than $5.2 million in capital outlay dollars to build the north side elementary in Sioux Falls at Lancaster and Ellis Road. It will defer the next bond vote for other projects, such as a new performing arts center, and expanding the elementary school to replace the current "stick buildings." The next bond vote may be held in September.
The future of the Tea schools had come down to just two votes. A third attempt at passing a bond issue failed yet again, but voters who supported it, like Jolene Loetscher are not giving up hope.
"We know that our school board and our administrators believe in these kids, believe in the future of the district, a district people fought to have ten years ago and they're going to keep fighting for it," Loetscher said.
Tea Area School board president John Herr said "we've been optimistic going into each one, a little more disheartened each time, we come closer, and closer and closer, we know we have the support of the community but just not enough by the law to get the bond passed."
The district discussed its plans at a board meeting Tuesday night.
"The biggest frustration is trying to find what it is that's going to trigger the support, because we hear from those who are in favor of it, we typically don't hear from those who are opposed to it," Herr said.
"This is an investment in our communities, in our neighborhoods, and of course, most importantly, its an investment in our children. For a couple of pennies a day, it can add up to a lifetime of difference for these kids, having the best that they deserve," Loetscher said.
The new elementary school will house students in kindergarten through fourth grade, and is expected to open in fall 2015.