Thank You, Portland! Voters Overwhelmingly Pass PPS Bond Measure
As you know, earlier this year the Portland Public Schools Board of Education referred a proposed 2020 School Bond, Measure 26-215, to the ballot. On November 3rd, Portland voters resoundingly approved this measure.
We want to express our gratitude for supporting Portland students and a bright future for Portland Public Schools students and staff.
Because of you, the 2020 Portland Public Schools Bond will fund health and safety projects in schools across the school district, replace textbooks and technology equipment districtwide, modernize Jefferson High School, begin planning a Center for Black Student Excellence, make historic investments in accessibility, complete the modernization of Benson Polytechnic High School, and continue design and planning to modernize Cleveland and Wilson High Schools.
We look forward to staying in touch with you as we work with the community to implement this Bond. As with the 2012 and 2017 capital improvement school bonds, PPS’s Bond Accountability Committee—an independent group of appointed community members—will review quarterly reports and audits of how the bond dollars are being spent, to provide accountability to the public until construction is complete. In addition to staying up to date with their work, please continue to share your thoughts and feedback with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or communicating directly with members of your Portland Public Schools Board of Education.
Thank you again for your continued support of Portland Public Schools and the almost 50,000 students we serve.
Proposed 2020 School Bond
The Portland Public Schools Board of Education has referred a proposed 2020 School Bond to voters, Measure 26-215. If approved by voters on November 3, the proposed 2020 School Bond would fund health and safety projects in schools across the school district, replace textbooks and technology equipment districtwide, modernize Jefferson High School, master plan additional neighborhood school projects, complete Benson Polytechnic High School, and continue design and planning to modernize Cleveland and Wilson High Schools.
IF APPROVED BY VOTERS, WHAT WOULD THE PROPOSED BOND DO?
Education & Accessibility Projects
- Replace textbooks and curriculum materials with new curriculum materials across subject areas;
- Replace or provide students with tablets and laptops to provide technology access to support classroom and distance learning, and update classroom and district technology; and
- Update special education learning spaces and technology tools.
Health, Safety & Accessibility Projects
- Implement the first phase of PPS’ ADA Transition Plan in schools across the district;
- Repair or replace leaking or damaged school roofs;
- Seismically retrofit up to three schools;
- Repair or replace mechanical systems (heating, cooling and ventilation); and
- Update classroom door locks, install security camera systems, and upgrade or replace intrusion alarm systems to strengthen security.
School Modernizations & Rebuilds
- Modernize Jefferson High School, originally built in 1909; master plan and design schools and facilities in North and Northeast Portland; and fund initial projects in the cluster of neighborhood schools and facilities;
- Complete pre-construction design of Cleveland and Wilson High Schools modernization projects; add capacity to Roosevelt High School; plan/add additional capacity, potentially for middle schools; and
- Complete Benson Polytechnic High School and construct an alternative school programs building on Benson’s campus.
The proposed bond package was informed by feedback from PPS families, students, staff, members of the community and technical facilities assessments.
If the proposed bond is not approved, the projects outlined above would not be completed.
IF APPROVED BY VOTERS, WHAT WOULD THE PROPOSED BOND COST?
The 2012 and 2017 bonds were new property taxes approved by voters, for a combined rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. Because the previous bond’s tax rates are decreasing — due to declining debt service — if voters approve the $1.208 billion in principal amount of general obligation bonds, the rate would be approximately $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the measure does not pass, the rate would decrease to approximately $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value by 2022 and $1.00 per $1,000 of assessed value by 2026.
ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
As with the 2012 and 2017 capital improvement school bonds, if the measure is approved, PPS’s Bond Accountability Committee—an independent group of appointed community members—would review quarterly reports and audits of how the bond dollars are being spent, to provide accountability to the public until construction is complete.
WHAT HAVE PREVIOUS PPS CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION BONDS
In 2012 and 2017, voters approved capital bonds that funded improvements to Portland Public Schools buildings, most of which were built 80 to 90 years ago.
The two previous bonds have funded modernization and rebuilding projects that are completed or under construction, including:
- Modernization of Roosevelt, Franklin, and Grant High Schools; Rebuilding of Faubion PK-8; Master planning and design work to modernize Benson Polytechnic High School; and
- Modernization of Madison High School and rebuilding of Lincoln High School and Kellogg Middle School are projects that are currently underway.
In addition, the two previous bonds have funded projects at every school throughout the district that are completed or under construction, including projects that:
- Replaced plumbing and fixtures to remove lead from drinking water;
- Removed or encapsulated exposed lead-based paint and asbestos;
- Upgraded fire alarm and sprinkler systems;
- Repaired or replaced leaking or damaged and rotting roofs, with seismically strengthened roofs;
- Seismically retrofitted buildings to strengthen facilities for earthquakes;
- Removed barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities;
- Mitigated radon exposure;
- Strengthened school safety and security; and
- Updated science labs at middle schools.
This information, except for the website link(s), was reviewed by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office for compliance with ORS 260.432.