Most bond elections pass, including Portland at $790 million
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Voters on Tuesday approved two-thirds of school construction bonds statewide – including the largest school bond in Oregon history: $790 million for Portland Public Schools. Ten bonds passed and five were defeated.
In addition to its historic amount, the PPS measure was notable in that it gained 66 percent of the vote, tying a much smaller ($4 million) Tillamook proposal in terms of overall community support. Other bonds gaining passage included: Bend-La Pine ($268 million), Greater Albany ($159 million), Jefferson ($14.4 million), Lake Oswego ($187 million), North Powder ($3 million), Rogue River ($3 million), Sweet Home ($4 million), and Vernonia ($6.8 million).
Bonds did not pass in Ontario, South Umpqua, Yoncalla, Hermiston and Coos Bay. The Coos Bay bond, for $66.5 million, trailed passage by the slimmest of margins: 22 votes out of more than 7,100 cast.
Jim Green, OSBA’s executive director, said the results indicate Oregonians’ longtime support for public education.
“Our residents understand the need to pay for the infrastructure of Oregon’s public schools,” he said. “The continuing challenge is ensuring that we find a way to invest adequately in the continuing operation of our schools.”
In the only community college bond election, Mount Hood Community College’s $75 million bond was defeated.