Carthage School District Plans After Failed Performing Arts Mandate

CARTHAGE, Mo. – The Carthage School District is still looking for ways to fund a new performing arts center. Even after the failed tie in the Missouri primary.

The bond proposal, part of the August 2022 Missouri primary, for a new performing arts center was not accepted. Superintendent Mark Baker said the renovation will include classrooms for performing arts classes and availability for the community.

The proposal was first introduced in May 2022. The bond sought $18 million by extending the districts’ debt levy for two years into 2040. However, it fell through after 52.5% voted yes and 47.5% voted no. The bond needed a four-sevenths vote, or 57% yes, to win.

Inflation is currently a concern for many Americans, and Baker suspects it is a key reason for the bond’s failure. “It wasn’t a rebuke saying we don’t want to help children.” said Jasper County Clerk Charles Davis. “At this time with the uncertainty that reigns, we don’t know what will happen with the finances of the country.”

Superintendent Mark Baker remained positive and understands the community’s financial concerns. Baker said, “We will continue to look at options for the performing arts center, and perhaps ways to get more support.” Mark Baker believes the center is still needed but has yet to draw up plans for the issue.

The next available time for the bond to be on a ballot is April 2023.