Measure 26-121

PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BONDS TO UPDATE, RENOVATE LOCAL SCHOOL BUILDINGS

QUESTION: Shall PPS update, rebuild, increase safety at public schools; retire debt; issue $548 million in general obligation bonds, audit spending? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.

SUMMARY: Portland Public Schools buildings average 65 years old. Safety, security, classrooms and technology are out of date in nearly every building.

Bond funds support capital projects at 95 schools:

  • 86 schools receive updates such as:
    • Fire and life safety;
    • Electrical, plumbing, lighting, roofing, heating, security;
    • Earthquake safety, handicapped accessibility;
    • Modern science classrooms;
    • Classroom teaching technology;
    • School grounds, exteriors, fields.
  • 9 schools rebuilt:
    • N/NE Portland: Roosevelt High; Faubion, Rigler, Laurelhurst
    • SE Portland: Cleveland High; Marysville
    • West Portland: Markham Elementary, East Sylvan on West Sylvan campus
    • Middle College Program with Portland Community College at Jefferson High.
    • Planning, design to prepare for rebuilding Lincoln High.

Bond funds will retire existing school projects debt.

Citizen oversight and annual audits of bond projects and expenditures are required.

Most bonds mature in 1 - 3 years to minimize interest expense. Cost estimated to be approximately $2 per $1,000 assessed property value for six years, then reduced. Median homeowner pays $300 annually for six years, reduced to approximately $22 annually.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Portland Public Schools is the largest public school district in Oregon, with 95 school buildings and over 47,000 students.

PPS buildings average 65 years in age; most were built in the 1920's, 40's and 50's. Only two schools have been built in the last 30 years. A dozen schools have been closed in the last ten years.

Years of tight budgets have deferred major school repairs in order to direct funds to teachers and learning materials.

  • Schools need updated plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and ventilation, fire alarms, lighting, and more;
  • Classrooms, science labs and libraries are out of date and cannot support modern educational programs;
  • Buildings need additional earthquake safety, handicapped accessibility, and safety in stage areas;
  • School grounds, fields and exteriors need repair or replacement.

The proposed bond measure funds capital projects for school and classroom needs to extend their use, including:

  • Increasing school safety;
  • Renovating and updating school building systems, classrooms and grounds;
  • Rebuilding or comprehensively renovating schools located across Portland for which it's more cost effective to do so;
  • Retiring existing school projects debt; and

Increase school safety:

  • Safety updates such as fire and security systems; replacing electrical wiring, plumbing and lighting: replacing deteriorated outdoor play areas; installing exterior security; replacing unsafe school stage rigging.

Renovate and update school facilities buildings, classrooms, grounds, including:

  • Modernize heating systems with more efficient and lower-maintenance fuel source;
  • Replace leaking roofing;
  • Upgrade or create some science labs for grades 6-12 needed to support a modern science program including equipment, sinks, outlets, lab benches, burners and more;
  • Provide up-to-date classroom teaching technology for every school;
  • Refurbish school grounds, exteriors, and fields to reduce injury, and increase security and safety.

Rebuild schools not cost-effective to repair piecemeal, including:

  • Rebuild Roosevelt and Cleveland High Schools, Rigler, Faubion, Laurelhurst, Marysville K-8 schools, Markham Elementary, and East Sylvan on West Sylvan campus;
  • Conduct planning and design to prepare for Lincoln High rebuild in the next phase of school modernization;
  • Establish Middle College Program open to all PPS students, with Portland Community College, at rebuilt Jefferson High

Debt retirement and oversight for bond expenditures

  • Pay off approximately $33 million in school projects debt including Rosa Parks School;

Citizen oversight and annual audits to review bond projects and expenditures are required.

Bonds funded through a ‘pay-as-you-go' system
Bonds would mature primarily in 1,2 or 3 years, saving interest payments of over $200 million. Remaining bonds would be issued over 20 years or less.

The bonds' principal amount cannot exceed $548 million.

Bond cost for six years is estimated at approximately $2.00 per $1,000 of assessed property value, reduced to an estimated fifteen cents per $1,000 for not to exceed 20 years.

The median assessed home value in the school district is $147,000. Median homeowner would pay approximately $300 annually for 6 years then reduced to $22 per year.

Submitted by: Carole Smith
Superintendent
Portland Public Schools, District 1J

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The condition of our schools isn't a problem.
It's a crisis.

Portland Public Schools buildings average 65 years of age. Most were built well before the polio vaccine was invented, much less the modern technology necessary for a sound education today. PPS has not had bond funding for repairs and upgrades for over a decade.

The result: our schools have severe safety issues, structural problems and out of date learning environments that do not support a modern education.

  • Many schools have original electrical wiring and plumbing. Electrical systems are so inadequate that staff must take turns plugging in equipment.
  • Most school buildings are heated by the original heavy oil boilers for which parts no longer exist – they have to be built from scratch. They are extremely inefficient and are fire hazards.
  • Few buildings have fire sprinkler systems to help prevent or stop a fire.
  • Buildings leak water into classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, and hallways, causing damage to walls and floors, electrical wiring to short out, and ceiling tiles to fall down.
  • In some buildings, piping can leak asbestos in areas where students walk, study, and eat. Due to danger, cancer warnings must be posted.
  • Poor ventilation in some classrooms increases carbon monoxide levels, causing students to become drowsy.

These are just some examples. We can't wait any longer to make our schools safe and sound places to learn.

Over the next six years Measure 26-121 will:

  • Modernize and increase the safety of every school.
  • Update learning environments so our children can compete.
  • Rebuild nine schools too costly to repair.

This is local money for local schools – none goes to Salem. And independent oversight by financial and construction professionals will ensure that, projects are completed on time and on budget.

We send our children into these schools every day. It's time to make our schools safe and able to provide an up-to-date education.

Vote YES on Measure 26-121!

(This information furnished by Ben Unger, Portlanders for Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Portland Council of PTA says Vote Yes for our Schools!

Parent Teachers' Associations (PTAs) are one of the reasons our schools succeed. They represent all the elements of good schools: parent volunteers, dedicated teachers and a joint commitment to an education that builds successful futures, good citizens and a strong community.

But the greatest PTA in the world cannot fix the problems in Portland's school buildings:

  • Portland's schools average 65 years of age
  • More than half of Portland's schools contain heavy oil boilers that are fire safety hazards and difficult to maintain
  • Schools leak everywhere, water often streams into classrooms, libraries and hallways
  • Poor electrical wiring is so old that staff have to take turns plugging in important school equipment

To learn, our kids need safe buildings that keep them warm, safe and dry. That basic need is at stake in this election. That's why we urge you Vote YES on Measure 26-121.

The bond will address the most urgent problems and make improvements in every school. Financial accountability is built into the project, the bond will be paid off in six years, saving $200 million in interest payments.

The bond for Portland Public Schools will:

  • Make critical repairs to increase safety and security updates in every school
  • Rebuild or replace schools in most immediate need across the district with up to date earthquake safety

In a sense, we are all the PTA for our community's schools. And we all have an interest in their success, whether or not we have children, grandchildren or neighborhood children in them right now. Strong schools mean stronger neighborhoods. They protect property values in a shaky housing market. They mean a stronger future for all of us.

The Portland Council PTA enthusiastically endorses the school bond!

Please join all the local PTA's of the Portland Council PTA
Vote YES on Measure 26-121!

(This information furnished by Beryl Morrison, Portland Council PTA)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.


ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

An Important Message from Portland Firefighters

The Portland Schools Bond is Critical for Fire Safety

As firefighters, we are dedicated to protecting the lives and property of Portlanders. As community members, we believe that good public schools are the foundation of a strong future.

It is as both firefighters and community members that we urge you to vote YES on Measure 26-121, the Bond for Portland Public Schools.

There is no other way to put it, Portland's school buildings do not have the fire safety protections that they should:

  • Few schools have fire-protection sprinkler systems.
  • The fire alarms need serious updating.
  • Many schools are heated by aged oil-fired boilers. For some, the fire protection system is a piece of string.
  • There is inadequate disabled accessibility in case of an emergency.

In addition, Portland's school buildings are simply old. When it comes to a fire, that is a real factor – as we saw in the fire at Marysville School last year. That was an expensive lesson. It is only by the hard work of Portland's firefighters that it wasn't a tragic one as well.

Measure 26-121 will provide badly needed repairs and upgrades that will vastly improve the fire safety of our schools.

We send our children into these schools every day. It is our responsibility to make sure those schools are safe and a great place to learn.

Protect our Schools
Protect our Kids
Please Vote YES on Measure 26-121

(This information furnished by James R Forquer, Portland Fire Fighters Assoc.)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The Portland Police Association Supports Measure 26-121

The Portland School Bond Will Make
Urgently Needed Security Upgrades to Our Schools.

One of the absolute bottom lines of any community should be to keep children safe. As Portland police officers, we take that responsibility very seriously. That is why we strongly urge a YES vote on Measure 26-121, the Portland Public Schools Bond.

On average, Portland's school buildings are older than 65 years old. They were built in a very different time, especially when it comes to building safety and security. They lack the basic ability to control safely and know who is coming in and out of the building. In some schools it is difficult or impossible to communicate with portable classrooms in the case of an emergency or a lock down.

Measure 26-121 will provide urgently needed security improvements for school buildings, including card lock systems and other measures to secure entryways and exits. It will also provide other safety measures such as seismic upgrades, fire alarm systems and accessibility in case of emergency.

They are all our kids. We should keep them safe. Please vote Yes on the Portland School Bond.

Darryl Turner
President, Portland Police Association

(This information furnished by Daryl Turner, Portland Police Association)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Vote Yes for Improving Earthquake Safety 

Vote Yes for the Bond Measure for Portland Public Schools

“…no school in any major Oregon District would be usable again after a major earthquake.”
KGW, 3/17/11

Earthquakes have been in the news a lot lately, and as Portlanders we know we are due for a big one.

When it comes to our schools, we are simply not ready. Engineering studies show that most of our local school buildings could very likely crumble in the case of a severe earthquake. We need to start to fix that by passing the PPS bond measure.

Kids, teachers and school staff need the ability to survive and safely exit the school building in the case of an earthquake.

Our buildings average 65 years of age. Most were built before the polio vaccine was invented and before we understood the threat earthquakes pose to our region. And these buildings have not been updated very much – if at all. Our children, teachers and neighbors are inside schools with little or no seismic protection.

The PPS School bond will completely rebuild 9 of our school buildings with current earthquake safety. Another 7 schools will receive interim seismic improvements.

The PPS bond begins the process of rebuilding all of our schools over the coming decades, so that the buildings last, so that they are safe, so they provide up to date learning environments, and so the buildings and the people inside survive a substantial earthquake.

It is long past time to get started on this critical safety measure. Please Vote Yes for the PPS Bond Measure.

(This information furnished by Alicia Temple, Portlanders for Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

As a custodian for Portland Public Schools, I know that our schools run on equipment that is old and technologically outdated.

One example is the out of date, inefficient boilers that are used to heat most Portland Public Schools.

Our schools had huge heavy oil boilers installed when they were built in the 1930's, 40's and 50's. They may have originally done the job, but they have long since been surpassed by much more efficient systems capable of producing more reliable, and environmentally sound heat.

Some of the units still functioning in our schools were manufactured so long ago that they have stopped making parts for them, forcing the steamfitters to fabricate replacement parts.

The boilers are so old that they require manual, daily maintenance. I spend roughly eight hours a week keeping the boilers running and preventing potential problems.

It's very laborious – but it has to be done, because if I don't do it, these boilers can develop potentially hazardous problems in a short period of time.

Even with daily check-ups, there are still problems. Sometimes the oil builds-up, which is called a clinker and can catch fire. On some of the older boilers, the failsafe to shut the system down in case of a clinker is literally a string that runs to a spring loaded kill switch. This is the definition of antiquated technology.

And when they are running, these boilers are not the best way to heat our schools. Their systems are made up of hundreds of mechanical parts that are old, and fail on a regular basis, causing some classrooms to not get heat and others to get too much heat.

The bond measure for PPS will update every school. It will increase safety, update building systems, and upgrade classrooms.

The bond will also replace obsolete boilers, saving fuel, money and maintenance time.

I recommend a YES vote for the bond measure.

Greg Meyers, Markham custodian

(This information furnished by Greg Meyers)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Kids need safe school buildings.

Especially the youngest.

As a Head Start teacher my primary job is to get young children and their families excited about coming to school and to ensure that those children are successful and safe while they're here.

But, because my class is in a PPS building, that is a real problem.

When teaching the youngest kids, keeping them safe is a challenge. They're always exploring, trying new things, touching everything along the way. It gets a little scary in these old buildings. Tiles have fallen from the ceiling while we're in class. The gym leaks – we have to corner off a part of it so kids don't get hurt.

In my classroom we have a rule: any toy that breaks beyond repair gets thrown out right away. That ensures child safety. It also lets children know that they have worth – that we will always try to give them our best.

What kind of message do crumbling schools send to our children? If something is unsafe we need to fix it for our kids' safety – and to let them know they are valued. And with our schools falling apart across the city, we need to act now.

Children deserve the best start possible and the opportunity to succeed.

My students are often low income – they need school to be a safe refuge. Head Start parents need to be convinced that our schools will give their kids the opportunity to succeed. That means they need safe buildings. Buildings that communicate that education is important, which in turn encourages parent involvement in their children's education. The bond for Portland Public Schools would give us safe schools that would give my students more opportunity to succeed.

Please give Portland's kids the safe and sound schools they need.

Vote Yes on 26-121

Suzanne Sheldon, Head Start Teacher in Portland Public Schools' Creative Science building

(This information furnished by Suzanne Sheldon)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

How bad is the condition of our school buildings?

Ask an elementary school teacher.

We are elementary school teachers in Portland Public Schools. Because we are in classrooms every day, we see the physical conditions our students must contend with. Frankly, it is not fair to them – and it is not safe for them.

Here are just some examples:

  • At one school, the boiler overheats some classrooms so badly that kids are sweating and groggy, while other classrooms are so cold kids are in their jackets. In addition the boilers are old, inefficient and a fire hazard.
  • Some classrooms lack proper storage space for jackets, which forces kids to pile their jackets in a corner. In the wet weather these jackets don't dry.
  • Many roofs leak so much that when it rains buckets have to be placed in hallways to collect water. One school leaks so badly they need 50-gallon buckets to collect the water every time it rains. This is not a safe for our elementary students, and causes structural damage.
  • At many elementary schools, kids can't play outside when it is raining during the winter and fall. Some lack play structures altogether.
  • Classrooms have carpets that are up to 30 years old. These carpets act as germ and bacteria factories. It is a health and safety hazard.
  • Many schools do not have bathrooms on every level of the school, while others bathrooms are foul and disgusting thanks to generations of use with no updating. No kid ever wants the classroom across from the bathroom and many kids won't use the bathroom at school.
  • Many schools have exposed asbestos, falling tiles, and unsecure bricks.

Out-of-date facilities make it difficult for our students to learn and impair our ability to teach. Our students' safety is at risk.

Portland's kids deserve better. 

VOTE YES FOR 26-121!

Lisa Davidson, Glencoe Elementary Teacher
Emily Toll, Harrison Park Elementary Teacher
Eric Swehla, César Chévez Elementary Teacher

(This information furnished by Lisa Davidson)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Science teachers agree: we need to give our students more opportunity to compete and succeed!

Vote yes for Measure 26-121!

Something has to be done now to make Portland Public Schools' students competitive with the surrounding communities with newer schools.

The state of our schools, and our science labs in particular, are now starting to affect student's academic opportunities.

Out-of-date facilities waste class time, and the lack of basics rob our kids of opportunity

The situation in classrooms today is absurd: In some schools, the only sinks for the science classroom are in the hallway, so teachers need to cart water from the sink all the way down the hall to use in experiments.

In many labs, there's only one sink in the classroom and very little equipment. More often than not, the teacher has to perform the experiment while students watch.

Even in classrooms where students do get to conduct experiments, they aren't as safe as they should be:

     - eyewash stations are obsolete or insufficient
     - emergency showers are few and far between
     - electricity often requires yards of extension cords

We are putting Portland's school kids at a competitive disadvantage and we're putting their safety at risk.

Portland's kids deserve an opportunity to succeed

Parents, kids and teachers work hard to “make the best” out of out-of-date and inadequate facilities. We do well enough with what we have, but we don't have the basics.

No matter how hard we try, our buildings and science labs hold us back – we simply can't compete with newer schools in neighboring districts.

Measure 26-121 will give students up-to-date science labs and it will make other needed safety and technology improvements that give our kids a chance to compete. Let's give them their strongest possible start in life.

VOTE YES FOR 26-121!

Howard Goldstein, West Sylvan Middle School
Craig Naze, Lent Elementary School
Rebecca Levison 6th Grade Teacher

(This information furnished by Mike Webb, Portlanders for Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A Message from Portland Principals

We are school principals “directing the ships” at elementary, K-8 and high schools across Portland.

While our schools are very different, we have much in common:

  • Our buildings have serious safety issues, with classrooms so out-of-date it is difficult for teachers to carry out a modern educational program.
  • Our students' success depends on a modern educational programs with effective teaching, the opportunity to practice what they learn, and a safe place in which to do so.

As school principals, we organize and support our teaching staff to be as successful as possible. Children only come our way once and it is our responsibility to ensure they can make the most of it. Their future – and our community's future – depends on it.

We need your help to support successful teaching and learning by voting YES on the PPS Bond measure.

Our teachers now have to spend endless hours dealing with our aging school buildings, taking away from their teaching. Problems include water leaks, inadequate science labs, insufficient electrical outlets, and irregular room temperatures. There isn't enough space for students to work together in groups, or to practice the skills they are learning.

Passing the school bond will update our buildings and classrooms and improve safety for everyone in the schools . Years of tight budgets have left our buildings close to the point of no return – they cannot wait another year.

We also need this bond to ensure that our students can compete. School districts across the metro area have newer buildings with up to date technology and classrooms. We need to be able to provide the same opportunity for our kids and teachers in order to support an ongoing and vibrant school system for Portland.

As a community, we have the opportunity to do something vital for our schools, our kids, and our future.

Please vote yes on the Portland School Bond.

Sarah Lewins, Principal, Markham Elementary
Raddy Lurie, Principal, Alameda Elementary

(This information furnished by Sarah Lewins)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Measure 26-121: What's in it for Southeast Portland?

Who benefits from the School Bond for Portland Public Schools?

Every School. Every Neighborhood. Every Portlander.

We've got a lot to be proud of in Portland, but there's one problem that's been hidden from view: our school buildings are in crisis and are on the verge of crumbling.

That's why we need to pass Measure 26-121 – to give kids safe and sound places to learn, protect our investment in schools, and preserve the quality and property values of every neighborhood.

In Southeast Portland there are 31 neighborhood schools, every one will receive critically needed repairs and upgrades:

  • Many of our schools are heated by extremely old, inefficient boilers that are fire hazards; they will be replaced with modern natural gas heating at Arleta, Atkinson, Creative Science, Glencoe, Lane, Lent, Mt. Tabor, Youngson, Duniway, Hosford, Lewis, Sellwood, Sunnyside and Winterhaven.
  • Good, safe schools are the heart of our community and economy. The bond will modernize and increase the safety of every school in our neighborhood.
  • Cleveland High School will be fully renovated to modern teaching and building standards since it is too expensive to repair and Marysville will be rebuilt because of the fire.
  • All 31 schools will get technology upgrades for the classroom and science labs will be updated at Arleta, Creative Science, Harrison Park, Lane, Lent, Creston, Sellwood, Sunnyside and Winterhaven so that our students can stay competitive for future jobs and colleges with neighboring districts.
  • Funding will be provided for new fields for PE classes, sports teams and community use at Franklin High School
  • Covered play structures will be built/rebuilt at Arleta, Atkinson, Bridger, Creative Science, Glencoe, Harrison Park, Lent, Youngson, Whitman, Woodmere, Creston, Lewis, Richmond, Sunnyside, Winterhaven and Woodstock so that our kids can play and exercise outside year round.
  • Every school will receive security updates including managed access to our buildings to keep our children safe.

Mara Cogswell, Parent at Glencoe Elementary

(This information furnished by Mara Cogswell)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Measure 26-121: What's in it for Northeast Portland?

Who benefits from the School Bond for Portland Public Schools?

Every School. Every Neighborhood. Every Portlander.

We've got a lot to be proud of in Portland, but there's one problem that's been hidden from view: our school buildings are in crisis and are on the verge of crumbling.

That's why we need to pass Measure 26-121 – to give kids safe and sound places to learn, protect our investment in schools and preserve the quality and property values of every neighborhood.

In Northeast Portland there are 22 neighborhood schools; every one will receive critically needed repairs and upgrades:

  • Many of our schools are heated by old, inefficient boilers that are fire hazards ; boilers will be replaced with safe natural gas heating systems at Fernwood, Hollyrood, Irvington, King, Columbia, Sabin, Vernon, da Vinci, Alliance, Lee and Vestal.
  • Good, safe schools are the heart of our community and economy. The bond will modernize and increase the safety of every school in our neighborhoods including replacement portions of the Grant High School Roof and seismically reinforcing Fernwood.
  • Faubion, Rigler and Laurelhurst are too expensive to repair, so they will be fully renovated to modern teaching and building standards.
  • All 22 schools will get technology upgrades for classrooms, and science labs will be updated at Fernwood, Irvington, King, Sabin, Vernon, da Vinci, Beaumont, Lee, Roseway Heights, Scott and Vestal so that our students can stay competitive for future jobs and colleges with neighboring districts.
  • Funding will be provided for new fields for PE classes, sports teams and community use at Grant and Madison.
  • Covered play structures will be built/rebuilt at Fernwood, King, Vernon, Woodlawn, Roseway Heights and Vestal so that our kids can play and exercise outside year round.
  • Every school will receive security updates including managed access to our buildings to keep our children safe.

Vote Yes for 26-121
We all benefit from safe schools!

Constance Plager, Irvington Elementary

(This information furnished by Constance Plager)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Measure 26-121: What's in it for North Portland?

Who benefits from the School Bond for Portland Public Schools?

Every School. Every Neighborhood. Every Portlander.

We've got a lot to be proud of in Portland, but there's one problem that's been hidden from view: our school buildings are in crisis and are on the verge of crumbling.

That's why we need to pass Measure 26-121 – to give kids safe and sound places to learn, protect our investment in schools and preserve the quality and property values of every neighborhood.

In North Portland there are 15 neighborhood schools; every one will receive critically needed repairs and upgrades. Here's how the bond helps North Portland:

  • Many North Portland schools are heated by old, inefficient boilers that are fire-safety hazards; boilers will be replaced with safe natural gas heating systems at César Chávez, Ockley Green, Peninsula, Sitton, Boise-Eliot, Tubman YMA.
  • Good, safe schools are the heart of our community and economy. The bond will modernize and increase the safety of all 15 schools in our neighborhood.
  • To help more kids achieve the dream of a college education, Jefferson High School will be rebuilt as a Middle College Program that serves the entire city.
  • Roosevelt High School is too expensive to repair, so it will be fully renovated to modern teaching and building standards.
  • All 15 schools will get technology upgrades for the classroom and science labs will be updated at Boise-Eliot, Humboldt, Tubman YWA, Astor, Beach, Cesar Chavez, Ockley Green and Peninsula so our students stay competitive for future jobs and colleges with neighboring districts.
  • Outdoor play structures will be built/rebuilt at Chief Joseph, Beach, Cesar Chavez, Ockley Green, Peninsula and Sitton so that our kids can play and exercise outside year round.
  • Every school will receive security updates including managed access to our buildings to keep our children safe.

Vote Yes for 26-121
We all benefit from safe schools!

Brin Dearborn, Parent at Beach Elementary

(This information furnished by Brin Dearborn)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Measure 26-121: What's in it for West Portland?

Who benefits from the School Bond for Portland Public Schools?

Every School. Every Neighborhood. Every Portlander.

We've got a lot to be proud of in Portland, but there's one problem that's been hidden from view: our school buildings are in crisis and are on the verge of crumbling.

That's why we need to pass Measure 26-121 – to give kids safe and sound places to learn, protect our investment in schools and preserve the quality and property values of every neighborhood.

In West Portland there are 18 neighborhood schools ; every one will receive critically needed repairs and upgrades. Here's how the bond helps West Portland:

  • Many of our schools are heated by extremely old, inefficient boilers that are fire hazards , they will be replaced with modern natural gas heating systems at Ainsworth, Hayhurst, Jac kson, Stephenson and Rieke.
  • Good, safe schools are the heart of our community and economy. The bond will modernize and increase the safety of every school in the our neighborhoods including seismic retrofits at Wilson High and Ainsworth.
  • Funding will be provided for new fields for PE classes, sports teams and community use at Lincoln and Wilson High Schools.
  • Markham and East Sylvan will be rebuilt since they are too expensive to repair, so that they will be fully renovated to modern teaching and building standards.
  • Lincoln will have a full redesign in preparation for a rebuild.
  • All 18 schools will get technology upgrades for classrooms and science labs will be updated at Hayhurst, Gray, Jac kson, Skyline, West Sylvan and MLC so that our students can stay competitive for future jobs and colleges with neighboring districts.
  • Covered play structures will be built/rebuilt at Hayhurst, Maplewood and Stephenson so that our kids can play and exercise outside year round.
  • Every school will receive security updates including managed access to our buildings to keep our children safe.

Elin Kordahl, Sylvan Parent

(This information furnished by Elin Kordahl)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A message from PPS High School students:

GIVE US ALL A CHANCE TO COMPETE!

Vote Yes for Measure 26-121

Thanks to our parents, our teachers, our principal - we've learned a lot in school and we feel mostly ready for college, jobs, or whatever the future holds.

Our education was sound but the schools themselves are falling apart. And we've got to do something about them now or students that follow us won't be able to compete with the newer schools in the suburbs.

Help Portland kids get into college and get the jobs we need!

We attend schools that will be rebuilt by this bond, and we're not going to benefit from the renovations – but having spent four years here, we know these buildings desperately need to be fixed.

They're crumbling. All of us have suffered through it:

  • Tiles falling from the ceiling
  • Those asbestos CAUTION signs in the classrooms
  • All those lunches we ate in the hallway because of no room in the cafeteria.
  • Science class where we watched our teachers do experiments because there aren't enough sinks and equipment to go around.

We've made do, even succeeded. But we know Portland can do better.

The competition is fierce out there, we have to do better

We've all been to the suburban schools, where the buildings have up-to-date science labs, current technology, media centers, cafeterias and auditoriums that fit all the students, fields you can use throughout the year, the list goes on.

Kids in Portland deserve a chance to compete with the suburban kids. We are going after the same scholarships, jobs, and colleges – we need the same science labs, and technology.

We need the same opportunity.

Passing the school bond gives more kids that opportunity. So even though the bulldozers won't have fired up by the time we graduate, we think you should help the next crop of kids succeed and vote yes.

Vote Yes for the students of PPS!

Katie Castellanos, Senior Cleveland High School

Brittany Learned, Senior Roosevelt High School

(This information furnished by Rachel Barnett, Portlanders for Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Why should people with no kids at home support our local schools? 

Because someone did it for us.

I am an “empty-nest” Portlander; my kids are grown and gone from home.

Yet, I'll be voting YES for the Portland School Bond – Measure 26-121– and here's why:

  • Our local schools are really important, whether or not you have kids in them today. There's a school in every neighborhood, people use the buildings and grounds during and after school for recreation, adult education classes and community gatherings. But these buildings are no longer safe for anyone using them. This bond measure will make urgent safety updates in every school: to electrical systems, fire safety, heating and ventilation, fixing leaks and structural damage, and to security.
  • Schools help protect property value. The first thing a prospective homeowner asks is “How are the schools?” If you hope to sell your home someday – especially a family home – the answer to that question better be “great.” But it won't be unless we repair and modernize our schools now, before they fall apart completely.

This bond measure is accountable and a wise use of our tax dollars:

  • Independent construction engineers studied the buildings and helped identify the most important needs to address, so we can extend the lives of our buildings and make them safe;
  • No funds can be used for additional district administration;
  • Independent oversight by construction and financial professionals will ensure dollars are put where promised.

Good, safe schools keep kids in class, out of trouble, and prepare them to be good citizens. By supporting schools, we also honor and keep faith with the generation before us, who did the same for us. That's what it means to be a community.

Please join me and VOTE YES for our Portland Public Schools.

Joan Perez, SW Portland

(This information furnished by Joan Peres)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

A Message from a Middle College Graduate

I support the school bond for many reasons – it upgrades safety and security at all our schools and modernizes facilities so our kids can compete for the best colleges and jobs. But it also creates space for a Middle College program that would allow high school kids to take college classes for credit.

The Middle College is different than an Advanced Placement program at a typical high school - middle college students attend college classes on a college campus while their high school provides the other supports teenagers need. Middle colleges prepare kids to transfer to four-year universities or trade schools by giving them real experience managing the higher expectations. They graduate from high school prepared for additional college or launch straight into careers.

I know kids in Portland will benefit from a Middle College program because I benefited from a similar program in Washington State. I graduated from high school with two years of college credit under my belt, saving my family two years of tuition. When I transferred to the University of Washington, I knew what to expect from professors while my peers struggled to keep up. You simply don't get those experiences in a traditional high school, and that lack of exposure can mean failure - if kids even get to college at all.

Our middle college will be a partnership between Portland Community College and Portland Public Schools. The Jefferson Middle College will be right across the street from the growing PCC-Cascades campus and PCC and PPS will work together to make sure they're serving as many high school students as possible.

The bond gives us the safety our kids need and the opportunity every kid deserves. Like the one to get to college.

I'm voting yes, and you should, too!

Marissa Madrigal, Buckman Parent and Middle College Graduate

(This information furnished by Marissa Madrigal)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The League of Women Voters of Portland Urges a YES Vote on Measure 26-121

Strong schools are the heart of a livable city.

Portland residents value healthy vibrant neighborhoods that meet the needs of people of all ages and abilities. An excellent K-12 educational system attracts families, enhances neighborhood vitality, and builds strong communities. A “yes” vote on the Portland School Bond demonstrates our city's commitment to its school children and to their future success.

Safe well-designed school facilities contribute to student success.

The League believes all schools should have adequate physical facilities that meet state and local safety and sanitation standards. The Portland School Bond will replace fire alarms and safety equipment, upgrade plumbing and electrical service, install seismic retrofitting, and replace leaking roofs and outdated and inefficient heating systems.

Upgraded school buildings will include up-to-date science labs, access to modern technology, and new or replacement athletic fields and covered outdoor play areas. These improvements will provide our students with an environment conducive to success.

Over 80 percent of Portland's school-aged children attend public school. A “yes” vote will provide our students with schools that are safe and supportive of modern technology and curriculum.

Measure 26-121 is a prudent investment
in our children and in Portland 's future.

Independent experts conducted comprehensive assessments of building conditions. Information from those assessments will guide bond spending.

The Portland School Bond uses a pay as you go approach. Bonds will be paid off in six years rather than the typical 20, resulting in a savings of over $200 million in interest payments.

The future of our region depends on a quality educational system. This is the first phase of a long-term plan to upgrade all of Portland's 85 aging school buildings. Let's get started on investing in our future by voting “yes” for the Portland School Bond.

The League of Women Voters of Portland Urges a “Yes” Vote on Measure 26-121

(This information furnished by Elizabeth Pratt, League of Women Voters of Portland, Oregon)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

PORTLAND LOCAL BUSINESSES SUPPORT MEASURE 26-121

We all have a stake in good public schools. That's especially true for Portland's local businesses.

We need an educated workforce – We rely on good schools to provide us with the kind of employees that we need to operate and succeed.

We need good customers –As local businesses, we draw our customers from the communities we are located in. When the customers we rely on to thrive are deciding where to live, the first question they ask is “How are the schools?”

We all need good jobs – This is where we live and where we work – local businesses provide the vast majority of local jobs. A good public school system is the foundation of a strong economy, giving us the opportunity to create and provide those jobs for our families and the community.

The Bond Makes Good Business Sense

As business people, we understand the importance of protecting your investment. Without keeping up our businesses, we wouldn't be able to stay in business. The same is true for our schools: Portland's old school buildings have not had the necessary upkeep and maintenance. They have a great need for both maintenance and major upgrades and can no longer provide a safe and effective learning environment for our children without major repairs.

Accountability and Independent Oversight

This bond has been designed by independent construction experts and has accountability measures to make sure that the money is well spent. That's the way we would do it for our own businesses, and it gives us confidence in this plan as well.

STRONG SCHOOLS MEAN A STRONG ECONOMY
PLEASE JOIN PORTLAND'S LOCAL BUSINESSES IN
SUPPORTING THE PORTLAND SCHOOL BOND!

John Whisler – Owner, Kitchen Kaboodle
Mike Roach - Co-Owner, Paloma Clothing
Nik Blosser - President, Chinook Book
Ben Davis – President, Grand Central Baking Company
Sho Dozono – CEO, Azumano Travel

(This information furnished by Nik Blosser, Chinook Book)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens 

Supports Measure 26-121

As senior citizens, we do not have children in school right now. But we are proud to support the Bond for Portland's schools.

Our school buildings are old enough to be senior citizens too. They average 65 years of age and the wear and tear of seven or eight decades of school kids is really starting to show.

As we've aged, and as our houses have aged, we've made upgrades. But we haven't done the same for our schools, and it shows. The heavy oil boilers they used in 1940 are still there today. The schools still have asbestos pipes, old science labs, old wiring. In the last 45 years, Portland has only built two schools, and we have done basically no remodeling along the way. Like anything that's 65 years old, schools start to fall apart without significant new investments, and our schools need that investment now.

When we were growing up, honoring and supporting public education was the foundation of most everything we were proud of about our country. It was a responsibility our parents were pleased to shoulder, even through the depths of the Depression or WWII. When we went to school, we benefitted because our parents and grandparents invested in building new schools with modern technology. Now it's our turn to do the same.

With age comes a bit of wisdom, and a bit of perspective. It is clear now that when our public schools are strong, our community benefits. Good schools keep neighborhoods strong, they protect our property values, and they prepare the next generation to be good citizens. That means a better, safer and more prosperous community for all of us.

There is no better investment than our local classrooms, teachers and students.

Please join the Oregon State Council of Retired Citizens in voting Yes on Measure 26-121!

(This information furnished by Steve Weiss, Oregon State Council for Retired Citizens)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Portland school fields and play areas are used by
students and the community alike.

Right now, they are not safe enough for any of them.

From high school football games to adult recreation leagues, neighbors running a few laps before work or young children chasing a soccer ball around - PPS fields and tracks are well-used and well-loved seven days a week for all sorts of activities.

Our fields are simply worn out.

In a lot of neighborhoods, from October to May, our school fields turn to mud pits. They become unusable and unsafe for PE and high school sports, and are sprained-ankles-waiting-to-happen for neighborhood users.

And places with turf fields? They get used and used. Practices start at 6 in the morning and go until 11 at night. The turf is patchy and worn out. It's clear that the community and the schools need these fields – but they can't last at this rate of use.

That's why our schools and our community need to pass the bond measure for Portland Public Schools.

The bond measure for PPS will benefit everyone by building fields that allow for:

  • Useable outdoor physical education space for students;
  • Greater school participation in athletic activities;
  • Year-round use of fields regardless of weather conditions; and
  • Places for community recreation.

Five high schools will get funds for field upgrades from the PPS Bond Measure over the next two years:

  • Franklin (Southeast Portland)
  • Grant (Northeast)
  • Lincoln (inner West side)
  • Madison (Northeast)
  • Wilson (Southwest)

Whether you're a parent of kids in PPS, or you simply like to take a walk around the track, the PPS bond measure will give our community a safe and sound place to play.

Fields for our kids mean fields for all of us! 

Vote Yes for Measure 26-121!

Gordon Johnson MD, Community Development Director, Grant Park Improvement Project
Janet M. Schroer, Co-President, Lincoln High School Booster Club

(This information furnished by Gordon Johnson, Grant Park Improvement Project)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Independent Construction Experts Agree:
The Right Projects.
Real Accountability.
Value for Money.

Before the Bond for Portland's public schools was placed on the ballot, it went through an exhaustive and rigorous planning and design process by independent private-sector construction professionals. This process took several years and studied the need for repair, safety and modernization at every one of Portland Public School's buildings.

Because of this work, voters have unprecedented assurance that the funds generated by this Portland School Bond will be well-spent on the things that we really need.

Addressing the Most Urgent Needs

Independent construction experts studied the repair, safety and modernization needs of every school, and ranked them by urgency and cost effectiveness. This is the roadmap that was used to design the projects to be funded by Measure 26-121.

Independent Oversight

The construction projects paid for by the bond will be professionally managed, with independent oversight by independent, private-sector construction experts. There will also be citizen oversight to ensure that the money is spent as promised.

Financial Responsibility

Measure 26-121 has innovative “pay as you go” financing that pays for the bond's projects in 6 years, instead of the traditional 20 to 30 years. This will save over $200 million in interest costs over the life of the bond measure.

Our kids and our community need safe schools that can provide a 21st Century education. With the independent oversight and smart design of Measure 26-121 we can be confident that the job will be done right.

Pat LaCrosse - Retired Construction Supervisor
Carter MacNichol – Developer/ Construction Supervisor

(This information furnished by Patrick LaCrosse)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

The American Institute of Architects Portland Committee on Architecture for Education takes the following position on the Capital Bond proposed by Portland Public Schools:

While most of us are not consciously aware of it, the buildings we spend time in have significant effects on us. For our City's schools, facilities affect student achievement, student and staff health, life safety, and operational efficiency. Studies show that student test scores improve as much as 11% when students are taught in classrooms with ample daylight, good ventilation, and appropriate temperatures. Not only do students exhibit better ability to concentrate under these conditions, the attendance levels for both students and teachers improve – affecting student achievement and operational costs.

School buildings have an impact on the health of their users. Toxins and allergens distributed through mechanical ducts are common in older buildings that have not been upgraded or properly maintained. Poor indoor air quality is linked to increases in asthma, one of the leading causes of absenteeism.

While PPS made significant seismic and life safety improvements as part of the 1995 bond, essential structural and accessibility upgrades included in this 2011 bond are critical to improve safety and access for our students. Additionally, deferred maintenance is deteriorating crucial public infrastructure.

Finally, the most significant cost of a building is not its construction cost, but rather its operational costs in utilities and labor. Improvements to the “building envelope” – reducing air infiltration and adding insulation – and installation of efficient mechanical and lighting systems save on utilities and maintenance.

As architects, we see how better-performing buildings positively effect their occupants. As a City, we are a model to the nation for our livability for our parks, transit, and bike commuters, but we will not be able to compete globally in business if we do not have competitive schools. In these difficult times, it is important that we invest our money wisely. The benefits of passing this bond will be felt for generations.

(This information furnished by Saundra Stevens, AIA Portland - Committee on Architecture for Education)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Safe and updated schools mean healthier kids!

Healthy kids turn into healthier adults – which means a healthy community. We support the Portland Schools Bond for two very important health-related reasons.

Fighting Childhood Obesity

Almost a quarter of Oregon's kids are obese. This epidemic leads to an increasing adult obesity rate, with severe health consequences for individuals and serious costs to the community at large.

Unlike many life-threatening diseases, we know how to prevent obesity – physical activity and a healthy diet.

Because so many of Portland's schools have no covered play area, when it rains, our kids cannot go outside to play. The problem is worse at our high schools: their fields are such mud pits they are unusable for most of the year.

We support [organization] the PPS bond because it will help our kids get healthy and active by building 23 new covered play areas and new fields at five high schools which they don't have now. These improvements will ensure that kids are active during the week, and will be great neighborhood community resources for all.

Healthy Air to Breathe

Kids need – and deserve – healthy air to breathe. Right now, most of our schools are heated by polluting oil-fired boilers that burn hundreds of gallons of bunker oil each day. Even when these boilers are in working condition, they dump dirty soot all around the school. The chimneys on our schools billow smoke like old factories – we need to do better.

The Portland Public School bond will improve kids' health by replacing 47 heavy oil boilers with clean natural gas. This way, when our kids play outside – they're breathing safer, cleaner air.

We can improve our kids' health and safety and reduce air pollution in our neighborhoods. We urge a YES vote on the Portland School Bond.

Vote Yes for 26-121 for Healthy Portland Kids!

(This information furnished by Debbie Engelstad)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Two Measures – One Need: 

Schools that Work for Our Community

With this ballot, you hold the future of Portland's Public Schools in your hands. While there may be two measures – a bond and a levy – they really function as one package which asks the basic question: will we as a community provide a safe and sound education for our children?

For our schools to do the job we all need them to do, they must provide the basics:

  • Safe buildings and classrooms.
  • Up-to-date learning environments that provide the technology and facilities required for a modern education.
  • Enough teachers to provide the instruction, programs and individual attention to inspire those children who are doing well, lift up those who are struggling and keep all students moving forward to a successful future.

You cannot have one without the others and expect a functional school system. That is exactly what is at stake with Measures 26-121 & 26-122. Taken together they will:

  • Make long overdue repairs to PPS's crumbling buildings, including many that are critical to the safety and health of those who step inside.
  • Modernize woefully out-of-date classrooms, facilities and technology that currently put students at a severe competitive disadvantage.
  • Prevent the layoff of hundreds of teachers, loss of academic programs and increased class sizes.

There are many issues that impact our schools at the national, state and local levels. But the bottom line is that all those issues pale before the basics: Kids need a safe school, a good learning environment and teachers. Right now each of those is at risk.

We need both Measures 26-121 and 26-122 to protect them.

(This information furnished by Tess Fields, Portlanders for Schools)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN FAVOR

Myths vs. Facts on the Portland School Bond
From the Portland Council PTA

When we vote these days, it's important to get the facts – especially when some folks – for whatever reason – circulate misinformation. As you get ready to fill out your ballot, your Portland Council PTA would like to help ensure you get the clearest possible information:

Myth: We can wait to fix our school buildings.
Fact: Most of our Portland Public Schools' buildings were built before the polio vaccine was invented; just after WWII. They average 65 years of age, ½ are even older. Few have been updated.

Due to state budget cuts, we've had to delay by many years any serious effort to update our buildings. Now they are in crisis. Almost all have outdated classrooms and serious safety issues. Waiting longer means unacceptable danger and increased costs.

Myth: The School District won't be able to handle this scale of renovation and construction.
Fact: This 6-year school bond is an unusual undertaking for any organization and so PPS did exactly what they should: They hired independent construction engineers to conduct a comprehensive study of each school building to determine which updates and safety issues are the first priorities. They identified which buildings needed immediate rebuilding because they're too costly to repair.

Independent construction and financial professionals from our community will provide ongoing formal oversight of bond projects and expenditures to ensure dollars are spent as promised and projects are completed on time and on budget.

Myth: It costs too much.
Fact: Failing to pass this bond is the most expensive route of all. Repairs will become exponentially more costly if we delay. It is also costly to our children, who are at a serious and growing competitive disadvantage with those from surrounding districts with newer buildings.

It's no myth: we need to pass the Portland School Bond today!
Want more facts? Call 503-284-6346

(This information furnished by Beryl Morrison, Portland Council PTA)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure # 26-121 | Portland School District

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

I will be voting against this measure for two reasons;

I recently bought a new tankless water heater, a new clothes washer and a new refrigerator.
The Oregon Department of Energy is granting me a $570. credit on Oregon income taxes for purchasing my new water heater, refrigerator and clothes washer.
The state of Oregon will be paying me $570. for buying a water heater, refrigerator and clothes washer I would have bought without the $570 incentive.
That is $570. that I do not need but will be accepting - don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

The Portland Housing Bureau continues to hand out Mortgage Credit Certificates to homebuyers who haven't bought another house in the past three years, and who have a household income of less than $71,200.

These credits potentially amount to over $20,000. of state tax forgiveness for each certificate handed out.

The Portland City Council is throwing another $25,000. at the illegal day labor site for illegal aliens at 240 N.E. MLK Blvd. , here in Portland . This brings the amount of Portland tax dollars wasted on that illegal enterprise to around $400,000.

Obviously our state and city governments already have lots of money. They have so much money they can afford to spend millions on social engineering.

What is your limit? One out of four? One out of two?
I do not wish to support the education of the offspring of people in this country illegally. Let the home country of the illegal parents educate the children of the illegal parents.

In conclusion, please hold our elected officials' collective feet to the fire. Refuse all tax increases and vote out illegal-alien-pandering politicians. Then, our representatives will prioritize their spending and they will get serious about enforcing, and not violating, our immigration laws.

(This information furnished by Tom Wenning)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Taxpayers Association of Oregon recommends No on 26-121

26-121 will cost homeowners $400 per year!

Measure 26-121's explanatory statement is misleading. The cost for the average homeowner will be closer to $400 per year than $300. Moreover, 26-121 is only the first of several renovation measures planned by Portland Public Schools, such that school renovation costs for property taxpayers are planned to be renewed (or extended) after an initial six year term.

26-121 increases total property tax bills 9%!

Measure 26-121 is too costly for both homeowners and renters, particularly because local area incomes languish and social security check amounts remain frozen. Measure 26-121, alone, will increase total property tax bills over 9%. It and previous measures approved will cause this coming November's property tax bill to increase over 13%, making it the highest single year increase in the past ten years. Landlords will most probably pass this tax hike onto renters.

26-121 overspends on construction!

26-121 over pays for construction as costs per square foot appear excessive. Moreover, most construction rebuild dollars are to be sunk rebuilding only three high schools. These three high schools are located east of the Willamette River. Most west side Portland residents must wait numerous years and voter approval of follow-on measures to benefit from high school rebuild.

26-121 spends millions on unrelated projects!

Voters should have serious doubts this tax measure's funds truly will be spent only on school building renovation and updating. For instance, the School District recently committed to spending $5 million from funds raised by this measure to resolve a pre-existing legal dispute with the city of Portland. What's more, the District has routinely spent its maintenance dollars on items other than maintenance.

I urge my fellow Portlanders to vote no, effectively telling the District Superintendant and School Board to return with a reasonably priced renovation plan.

For the Taxpayers Association of Oregon PAC,

Bob Clark
Economist
Longtime Portlander

(This information furnished by Bob Clark, Taxpayers Association of Oregon PAC)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Vote NO on this Tax
1. Portland has funds for increased maintenance!
     Spending per student
Beaverton
Centennial
David Douglas
Hillsboro
Lake Oswego
North Clackamas
Portland
Tigard-Tualatin
$ 8,556 
8,737
9,948
8,806
8,955
8,392
11,243
9,089 
Portland Schools already spend the most on their students. If they take $1000 per student, they will still spend more and have $45 million each year for building and debt.
2. The tax increase is too big!
This is a gigantic increase. If your house has an assessed value of $235,000, and both measures pass, with the usual 3% increase you will pay:
Assessed Value $235,000
Tax you now pay 5,106
Tax you will pay 5,922
Tax the following year 6,100
Renters can also expect their rent to increase
3. This large school borrowing is unheard of!
Present school borrowing $465 million
Proposed new borrowing 548 million
1,013 million
Over a billion dollars is $22,162 borrowed for each student.

Can you afford this increase?

(This information furnished by Richard Leonetti, Oregon Taxpayer Association of Oregon PAC)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Is it a good idea to raise property taxes now as the city and state suffer from a jobless recovery, the worst since 1983?

Vote no on Measure 26-121.

Former Gov. Kulongoski's reset commission claimed, “In the end, we must be willing to adopt new ways to organize and deliver services, control costs and get the best value for our tax dollars.” (Oregon State Library, June 2010)

PPS must rethink how it delivers services. Measure 26-121's $548,000,000 is too big.

Property owners, seniors on fixed income, renters, consumers and businesses' employees will be negatively impacted with an increase of property taxes to fund PPS's $548,000,000 proposed measure.

The district's local economy compared to the national average has a higher unemployment rate but a lower income level.

Now, vote “no” on measure 26-121. Vote no until the amount requested more resembles what we can afford.

Others learned from Gov. Kulongoski's warning. They reduced the Sellwood Bridge replacement over $70 million. The Columbia Crossing bridge was reduced from the first bridge design by $100 million after spending over $100,000,000 on wasteful design studies.

Portland Public Schools must learn, too. Vote no on Measure 26-121.

Is it a good idea to accept PPS's proposed cost? If PPS has been the steward for the district's property for decades, can voters trust the district with over a half a billion dollars now?

Voters in Portland have recently seen a sewer project budgeted at $900 million, run $400 million in cost overruns, a proposed 14 million tram cost $40 million, and a state communication project that after wasting 440 million, was suddenly dropped as unworkable.

District voters must face reality. Vote no on Measure 26-121. Not now. Not at $548,000,000.00. Not until Portland Public Schools learns from Gov. Kulongoski's warning.

fightbackoregon.com

(This information furnished by Roxanne Ross, Americans For Prosperity, Multnomah County Chapter)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

ARGUMENT IN OPPOSITION

Vote NO on 26-121!

This bond creates a new tax at the worst time – a whopping half billion dollars for school remodeling.

There are far higher priorities than remodeling schools. This bond won't fix the problems of increasing class sizes, our tragic high school dropout rate and our 43rd rank among states in classroom performance.

Portland City Council and PPS have already tentatively agreed to divert $5 million from this measure to repair streets near schools – before the measure is approved by voters. How does this backroom deal help our children achieve or reduce class sizes? This will only further the culture of financial mismanagement in our city.

The Oregonian reported on Nov 21, 2010 about City Council's plan to divert $345 million from Multnomah County Property Tax into a new Urban Renewal District – at the cost of $1 million per acre. According to the article, “this would come at a multi-million dollar cost to … financially strained Multnomah County … and Portland Public Schools.” This will increase the limit on property taxes diverted to the PDC from $700 Million to a cool billion. They'll siphon off $300 million otherwise available for schools for the new Central Urban Renewal District. About one third of our property tax dollars go to K-12 education. Diverting these funds means even shorter school years, larger class sizes and lower achievement.

26-121 raises individual property taxes by $400 to $1000. Homeowners will pay upwards of $80 per month extra. Renters will see costs go up. In a state with persistent unemployment over 10%, this bond makes no sense.

Be fiscally responsible and Vote NO on Measure 26-121, the Bloated and Unnecessary Portland Public Schools bond.

Jeffery Reynolds, Chairman
Multnomah County GOP – Home of the Fiscal Conservative
www.multnomahgop.org

(This information furnished by Jeffery Reynolds, Chairman, Multnomah County Republican Party)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.