Measures on May ballot to upgrade safety, classrooms in schools, pay for teaching positions

In the May 17 election, voters will decide on two measures: a six-year school facilities bond to increase safety and update classrooms and learning environments at all PPS school buildings, and a five-year replacement local option levy that would pay for teaching positions.

Summary of Bond Measures
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 Measure 26-121, the bond to upgrade safety, classroooms

The school facilities bond measure would pay for upgrades at all PPS schools. The average PPS school is 65 years old, and school buildings face multiple issues: 

  • Out-of-date plumbing, electrical wiring, heating and ventilation, fire alarms, lighting and more.
  • Classrooms, science labs and libraries that do not support modern educational programs.
  • The need for additional earthquake safety, accessibility and safety in stage areas.
  • School grounds, fields and exteriors in need of repair or replacement.

The $548 million bond measure would increase safety and security at all PPS schools; renovate and update building systems, classrooms and grounds; and retire existing school project debt. The bond also would rebuild or comprehensively renovate nine schools where that would be more cost-effective.

Further information is posted on the facilities bond Web page, including a list of work to be completed at each school, and photos of the type of work proposed. The bond rate, about $2 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value, would cost the median homeowner roughly $25 a month.

 Measure 26-122, the levy for teaching positions

State funding is 75 percent of PPS general education funding, and the governor's budget proposal could leave PPS with an $80 to $90 million shortfall over the next two years – the equivalent of more than 400 teaching positions cut.

The local option levy on the May ballot would raise $57 million next year, $19 million more than the levy voters approved in 2006. The difference would pay for more than 200 positions in schools:  teachers and classified educational staff.

The additional funding from the renewed local option would help preserve teaching positions, educational programs for students and class sizes. However, PPS would still need to make substantial budget cuts.

Further information is posted on the budget Web page. The levy rate, at $1.99 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value, is 74 cents higher than the 2006 levy it would replace. The levy will cost the typical homeowner an estimated $24.45 a month, an increase of $9.09 a month over the current levy.