Bond proposal touches schools district-wide

June 29, 2012: Last night the Portland School Board held the first of two hearings on a preferred school construction bond, which would make seismic safety upgrades, replace roofs, improve access and provide modernized science labs at schools across Portland. It would also rebuild and modernize three high schools (Grant, Franklin and Roosevelt) and Faubion PK-8.

These priorities were determined through a step-by-step process that started with a citizen’s group that met for five months to draft a Long-Range Facilities Plan. This plan recommends goals to maintain and improve our school buildings based on our teaching and learning needs, building conditions and enrollment forecasts.  I want to thank the community members who helped draft the Long-Range Facilities Plan.

I also want to thank the Bond Development Committee which evaluated 16 different priorities for a school construction bond and narrowed the options to four that focused on: seismic safety, poor building conditions, high schools, partnerships and accessibility.

A series of community meetings, online surveys and board deliberations further focused and narrowed the priorities. Thanks to all of you who participated, including the hundreds of parents, students, teachers and community members who took the online surveys.

The Portland School Board will hold a second hearing on July 9th. Following the hearing, the board will deliberate and could vote to finalize the package and take the next steps toward putting a bond package on the November ballot. A formal referral would occur later this summer – another opportunity for you to have input.

I hope you will take an opportunity to look at the current proposal and share your thoughts with the school board.

Carole Smith

Carole Smith