The 7,000 registered voters in Canadian County Independent School District No. 34, Okla. are deciding Tuesday on a $44.8 million bond issue after a similar measure was defeated in November 2011.

The district wants $9.4 million to upgrade the existing high school in downtown El Reno and build a large science and math building at the site. Other projects include a $13.6 million elementary school, upgrades to several others, and the closing of two schools.

Approval will require a 6.5% increase in the district’s property tax rate, to 33 mills from the current 27 mills.

“We need these things,” trustee chairman Steve Jensen said. “It’s not a want, it’s a need. Our children deserve that.”

A separate proposal for $500,000 in new debt for transportation needs is also on the ballot.

District voters rejected a $44.5 million request in November 2011 with 51% in favor. School bond proposals in Oklahoma require a 60% majority for passage.

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