$200 Million for School Buildings?

The Corvallis School District seeks $200 million to improve and extend the life of some school structures, and replace others deemed beyond fixing – they also seek to resolve some overcrowding. Looking back, voters approved a 2002 bond issue set to expire next year, that levy cost property tax payers $1.64 per $1,000 of assessed value. This levy would raise that to $1.98. On a $350,000 house, the cost would increase $119 yearly, from $574 to $693. The current proposal is for a twenty year bond.

We endorse a yes vote on Measure 2-113.
The district proved itself fiscally responsible with the last bond, and the process arriving at the present proposal was especially sensitive to ratepayers, maybe even to a fault. We especially appreciate Lincoln Elementary will be replaced, given the state’s assessment of it’s likely outcomes in an 8.0 or above earthquake.

Some caveats and wishes. There has been some controversy about spending $9.3 million on the district’s magnet school facility, Franklin Elementary – which was an early adopter of the CORE curriculum. Some view access to the school as inequitable across socio-economic lines, for instance, citing communication issues with lower income families about the school, and a lack of available bussing to the site. It is surprising and dismaying how long these contentions have aired without resolution, and we would hope the district tackles this as a top priority in the next year. 

While we are on the subject of magnet programs, we would also add seeing a wider diversity of curriculums and slots offered would be compelling, even if it cost a few more bucks. 

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