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Think Out Loud

Salem-Keizer Surplus

Pete Springer/OPB

The Salem-Keizer School District is in an unusual predicament. After making drastic budget cuts and laying off teachers last year, the district says it has a $66 million surplus in bond money. Salem-Keizer voters passed the state’s largest school bond measure in 2008. That $242 million, it turns out, is a bit more than the district needs to complete the construction projects approved by voters. The money must be used for capital projects and can’t go to hiring back any of the teachers laid off in 2011.

The Citizen Bond Oversight Committee will send a recommendation to the school board, which will ultimately decide how to use the surpluse funds. The options the committee is considering:

  • Paying for additional repairs to school buildings
  • Using the money for new construction, such as a technical high school
  • Giving the money back to taxpayers

Do you live in the Salem-Keizer district? How did you vote on the bond measure? How do you think the district should use the surplus funds?


  • Sandy Husk: Superintendent of the Salem-Keizer School District
budget education salem schools

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