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Bend-La Pine District Considers Levy For New Schools

The Board of the Bend-La Pine School District is weighing whether to put a $98 million school levy in front of voters this May. 

The measure would pay for the construction of two new schools. It would also fund renovations throughout the district.

Bend-La Pine has an enrollment of more than 16,000 students.  But the board is expecting the number of students to balloon by more than 15 percent by the end of the decade.

Board member Peggy Kinkade says this year alone the district added an additional 300 students.

“Just speaking in terms of building need, that’s half of one of our prototypical elementary schools and the population figures show that over the next three years we’ll be adding an additional 500 students at the middle school level alone,” Kinkade said.

The current proposal calls for property owners to pay about $1.60 for every thousand dollars of assessed value.

However, Kinkade says because the measure would replace expiring levies, a property owner’s tax bill would stay about the same.  The school board is expected to decide Tuesday evening whether to advance the measure.

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