This week, voters in three Oregon school districts rejected school funding measures. The Beaverton district hoped to renew a local option levy worth $14 million to help close the district’s budget gap and preserve teaching jobs. That measure failed by nearly three points. Two smaller districts in the state had bond measures on their ballots to raise money for building projects. Culver in Central Oregon asked for $14.5 million and Myrtle Point on the coast was seeking $3.5 million. Neither one got what they asked for and the margins were much larger than Beaverton’s, with roughly two thirds of voters in both districts voting “no.” This means they won’t have funds to update buildings and classrooms, fix plumbing and heating problems or build new structures.
Supporters of the school funding measures blame the economy. The timing of the election also put ballots and property tax bills in the mail at almost the same time. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains that each of these districts is facing some tough decisions in the months ahead.
Are you a voter in the Beaverton, Myrtle Point or Culver school district? How did you vote on these measures? What was the biggest factor in your decision?
- Stefanie Garber: Superintendent of the Culver school district and principal of Culver Elementary
- Karen Cunningham: Beaverton school board member and chair of the levy campaign
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017