Bond Referendum

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Voters APPROVE Springfield Public Schools bond referendum! 

Unofficial results indicate that voters have approved the Springfield Public Schools proposal to complete security and infrastructure upgrades at all five schools plus the addition of air conditioning and refreshed spaces. 

The tally as of Tuesday night included 1,311 votes in favor and 376 opposed for Question 1 and 1,201 votes in favor and 479 opposed for Question 2. The totals will be updated over the next few days as officials count mail-in ballots that were postmarked by the election date and verify provisional ballots. Updates will be posted on this website. 

The district administration and Board of Education thank the Springfield community for learning about the referendum and taking the time to vote for the future of our schools. We look forward to the improvements that will ensure our schools continue to serve our community for years to come. 

We promise to educate our students every day so they can flourish and make an impact in the world. To accomplish our mission, we must provide them with school buildings and learning environments that are safe, secure, and comfortable. Students learn best when these core needs are met.

The March 14 bond referendum asks residents to consider two ballot questions that would invest in our district’s infrastructure. From Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) upgrades to security features, every one of our five school buildings would be updated – with no tax increase for Question 1 and a slight tax increase for Question 2.

3 reasons to hold a bond referendum

A voter-approved bond referendum allows the district to borrow funds to finance infrastructure projects, like how a homeowner uses a loan for home improvements. If residents agree to this investment, they pay back the borrowed funds through taxes.

what's on the ballot?

Over the last year, we have conducted a top-to-bottom review of the district’s building needs, with a specific focus on security and infrastructure.  Security and infrastructure experts have visited our buildings and provided the district with recommendations to guide our next steps.

There is no question that we need to update our Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems in our schools. Many of our classrooms need new energy-efficient unit ventilators, which bring heat and fresh air into spaces, and provide better climate control for a healthier learning and working environment. A second question on the ballot also asks residents to consider adding air conditioning to classrooms that either don’t have it now or rely on inefficient window units. The second question can only go into effect if the first question also is approved by voters.

Across our schools we have also identified needs to replace plumbing and update bathroom fixtures, update electrical systems, and renovate music, art, and gym spaces that haven’t seen attention in years.

While both questions on the ballot would make long-term improvements and security upgrades across the entire district, the questions require different investments from the community. 

Question 1: TAX NEUTRAL

These projects focus on upgrading heating and ventilation in classrooms, bathroom and facilities renovations, and security enhancements, that cannot be put off any longer by the school district. Air conditioning would also be updated or added to larger gathering spaces, such as gyms and cafeterias to provide cool spaces for students and staff on hot days.

By capturing state aid to help pay the project costs, the local costs would be reduced enough to fit within the existing tax rate for school debt. Tax neutral means we can pay off a previous investment and start a new one at the same cost of about $10 per month for a home assessed at Springfield’s average of $533,097. Each community member's actual impact will vary based on their property assessment. If these projects were to be completed through the annual operating budget instead of bond funding, no state aid would be available to the district.


This question expands on the work planned in Question 1 to include air conditioning in classrooms across the district. This is critical to the district’s strategy to move away from a repair-as-we-go mindset to a more sustainable plan. Funding these projects through the bond referendum would also help capture state aid and offset future funding issues that arise from costly repairs. 

Projects in Question 1 and Question 2 are both important for Springfield schools. The only difference is the tax rate necessary for each one. 

*Question 2 can only go into effect if Question 1 is also approved by voters.


Certain types of projects are eligible for state aid when approved through a bond referendum. The district focused on selecting the types of projects that would receive the maximum amount of aid. If voters approve, the state will pay a third of the project costs. 

The last major investment in our schools will be paid off this year. With voter approval in March, tax payments for this next investment would pick up where those payments left off. This timing allows us to fix our schools’ infrastructures while keeping the tax rate steady over time.

Residents who are registered in Springfield can vote in person or by mail. Polls will be open March 14 from 8 am - 8 pm.

View the Sample Ballot