Legislative Argument in Support
Each year, more students pour into Oregon’s schools. A greater number of kids sit in school classrooms, play on school playgrounds and exercise in school gyms. But our aging school facilities do not reflect this rising enrollment. Schools are havens for youth to learn, grow and succeed. It is our children who pay the price when schools are not given the tools they need to repair inadequate facilities and accommodate the growing number of students in their hallways.
By making two changes, the measure will provide K-12 schools with the ability to keep pace with facilities demands and offer students a better learning environment.
First, the measure defines “capital costs” in section 11L, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution, which specifies the allowable expenditures of a local bond. The new definition is broader and covers costs that have a useful life of more than one year, including acquisition, construction, improvement, remodeling, furnishing, equipping, maintenance or repair. Costs of routine maintenance or supplies, however, are expressly prohibited in the amended definition.
Second, the measure adds a new Article to the Oregon Constitution that allows the state to issue general obligation bonds and incur bonded indebtedness to help pay for the cost of local school capital construction. This new Article gives K-12 schools the same bonding authority as community colleges and the Oregon University System. By giving school districts this bonding authority, the state can stand with its schools and be a financial partner in ensuring the education and future of Oregon’s children. This new Article in the Oregon Constitution also creates a school capital matching fund.
Oregon has a responsibility to its youth, a responsibility to provide them the best education in the best facilities our state can offer. The measure fulfills this obligation by allowing schools to access the resources needed to create and maintain our education facilities.
(This legislative argument in support of the ballot measure was provided by the Legislative Assembly of the 2010 February Special Session.)
Argument in Favor
Oregon’s Teachers Urge a YES Vote on Measure 68
We are Oregon’s teachers, education support professionals, and community college faculty. We see firsthand what Oregon’s students need in order to be successful. As education professionals, we know that healthy school environments – including reasonable class sizes, buildings in proper working condition, and safe indoor air quality – are absolutely vital to the success of our students.
Inside Oregon’s schools, we’re developing communities of vibrant learners and we’re training tomorrow’s workforce. But too many of our school buildings are unequipped or unsafe for the number of students who walk through our doors every day. Our students are forced to learn in crowded classrooms. They spend their days inside buildings plagued by mold. And during recess, they play outside on equipment that is in dire need of repair or replacement.
Measure 68 will give our local communities the power to improve conditions in our public schools.
Measure 68 gives our local school districts the ability to respond to or prevent emergencies in school buildings, reversing decades of disrepair that have threatened the health and safety of our students. The measure will also allow our local districts to use state bonds to match locally supported bonds for funding necessary repairs.
Measure 68 helps our local dollars stretch further, giving small, rural schools the tools they need to fund school repairs and keep costs low.
The 48,000 members of The Oregon Education Association are committed to providing the best quality education to our public school students, but our work can only stretch so far. Measure 68 ensures that locally, we maintain and provide healthy environments where our students can academically thrive.
Join Oregon’s teachers and education advocates and VOTE YES on Measure 68.
(This information furnished by BethAnne Darby, The Oregon Education Association.)
Argument in Favor
Vote YES on Measure 68
Help keep Oregon students safe and healthy in their classrooms
Every day, students across Oregon are exposed to health hazards like asbestos, mold, and pests, because their school district isn’t able to raise enough money to pay for needed repairs and updates to school buildings. Small, rural schools are the most vulnerable.
Voting YES on Measure 68 is the first step toward making sure that every student in Oregon can learn in a safe and healthy environment.
As a public health nurse, I strongly urge you to vote YES on Measure 68, so that local communities can begin making effective decisions about how to repair their local school facilities and make them safer for students and staff. Measure 68 will allow the state to issue matching bonds, lowering the costs to local communities.
Schools should be a place where children and their teachers feel safe and protected from hazards. Students—and their parents—shouldn’t have to worry that they’ll get sick from their classroom.
As a nurse, I know illness can impair a child’s ability to learn, and a teacher’s ability to teach. We owe it to our kids to give them a healthy environment, so they can thrive. We can’t expect to train the workforce of tomorrow in buildings that are making them sick.
Please join me, parents, teachers, school advocates, and health professionals in voting YES on Measure 68.
Maye Thompson, RN, PhD
(This information furnished by Maye Thompson, RN, PhD.)
Argument in Favor
School Board Members Support a YES Vote on Measure 68
Help local school districts and Oregon begin to alleviate the problems of overcrowding and aging buildings that pose educational challenges as well as health and safety hazards to our students.
As school board members from around Oregon, we’ve seen firsthand the struggles that Oregon’s 197 school districts face as they attempt to provide a quality education to our 560,000 K-12 students: aging and/or inadequate facilities. Each year brings more students to our schools and each year increases the age of our buildings, some more than 100 years old.
Some of Oregon’s school districts cannot build schools fast enough to keep up with the demands of a dramatically growing student population. In many districts, students are crammed into portable structures or classrooms far beyond their intended capacity.
In other districts, the greater problem is coping with severely aging school buildings. Aging infrastructure leads to a long list of critical problems, such as environmental health issues like mold and asbestos, student safety issues, and access for the physically disabled. And without appropriate lighting, ventilation and access to technology, Oregon’s students face real obstacles to getting the education they need.
Measure 68 will empower local communities to make decisions about repairing their school facilities while also lowering costs for local residents. That’s why we’re urging a YES vote on Measure 68.
Vote YES on ballot measure 68 to help local districts provide the learning environments that Oregon’s students deserve.
Oregon School Boards Association Executive Committee:
Beth Gerot; Member, Eugene School District Board of Directors; OSBA President
Bobbie Regan; Member, Portland Public Schools Board of Directors; OSBA President-Elect
Randy Tweten; Member, La Grande School District Board of Directors; OSBA Vice-President
Kris Howatt; Member, Gresham-Barlow School District Board of Directors; OSBA Secretary-Treasurer
Annette Mattson; Member, David Douglas School District Board of Directors; OSBA Past-President
(This information furnished by Beth Gerot.)
Argument in Favor
Help our local communities fix our crumbling schools
The educational assistants, custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, food service workers and other classified members of American Federation of Teachers-Oregon in K-12 schools witness first-hand how deteriorating facilities affect a child’s education.
The learning environment is critical to a sound education
School buildings across Oregon are in serious disrepair. That compromises student health, safety, security, and the education they need to thrive.
A quality education is an investment in Oregon’s future and tomorrow’s leaders. The facilities where students sit, stand, walk and learn should not be a health and safety hazard.
Measure 68 maintains local control, but adds an important tool
Measure 68 assists local school districts with needed construction and repair of facilities to accommodate the growing number of students in classrooms.
Voting Yes means local districts can choose to use matching state bonds to get more value from locally approved dollars while maintaining local control. That especially helps small, rural schools.
Your support for Measure 68 helps our local communities invest in the future
We are in large and small districts from Hillsboro and Portland, to Scappoose to John Day, where we work to provide educational opportunities for children, often in ancient schools with leaky roofs, crumbling ceilings and moldy walls.
Our members in Scappoose know this first-hand. While fighting mold in the middle school, they took in the students displaced from flood-ravaged Vernonia high school. That increased the potential unhealthy mold exposure to an even larger student population while trying to lend a helping hand. Measure 68 would help local communities address problems like mold and the need to rebuild schools hurt by flood emergencies.
Please join the members of the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon and vote “Yes” on Measure 68
(This information furnished by David Rives, American Federation of Teachers-Oregon.)
Argument in Favor
Our Local Schools and Communities Need Help
School buildings all over Oregon are aging and overcrowded. Some have mold or asbestos problems; others have leaky roofs and broken heating systems; others still are so overcrowded children are taking classes in the hallways. Precious operations dollars are literally flying out the old windows in lost heat, and children are at risk every day going to schools in the tsunami inundation zone on the coast. OSEA members work every day to try to keep these schools running and safe, but for some it’s a losing battle due to age, overcrowding, deferred maintenance or location.
Our communities are hampered in their efforts to make improvements by existing state law, which severely limits the ability of local communities to fund new schools or make critical repairs and improvements.
Measure 68 Offers the Help Local Communities Need To Provide Safe And Healthy Schools For Their Children.
Measure 68 will allow local districts to use matching state bond funds to make local dollars go further. Small rural districts often do not have the local resources they need to build or renovate schools. With the help provided by Measure 68, these communities will be able to make the improvements that have been put aside for so long.
Measure 68 Preserves Local Control, Lowers Costs
Local communities will continue to decide when and what school improvements they wish to make. Once they have made those decisions and passed a local bond to help pay for the improvements chosen, state matching dollars will be available to lower local costs for the project.
Measure 68 Provides Jobs
School building projects provide employment opportunities in local communities. Many family-wage jobs are needed to complete school building projects, and communities having up-to-date school facilities are more likely to attract new businesses than those with decrepit, overcrowded or unsafe buildings.
Vote YES on Measure 68
Oregon School Employees Association
(This information furnished by Merlene Martin, President, Oregon School Employees Association.)
Argument in Favor
Stand for Children urges you to VOTE YES on Measure 68Oregon’s children need safe, healthy, and adequate school buildings.
Across Oregon, overcrowded schools mean students have to stand, or sit on windowsills, in their classes. Some children spend their days in portables without bathrooms or running water. Lack of cafeteria space in an overcrowded school means some students start lunch at 10:20 am. Chemistry labs built for 25 students now hold 33, forcing them to watch experiments instead of participating.
In aging school buildings, student health is compromised by mold, pest infestations, and wood rot. Computer access is limited by outmoded electrical systems that cannot support more than a handful of computers at a time.
Common sense tells us we must begin to address this problem, and research shows that student achievement is improved by healthy learning environments.
Measure 68 helps improve schools. Measure 68 does two important things. First, it allows the state partner with local school district to improve school buildings. Second, it allows school districts to pass bonds that include critical school infrastructure not currently allowed – like desks and bookcases.
These are two common sense solutions to help ensure all children learn in a healthy, safe, and adequate school.
Join Stand for Children and VOTE YES on Measure 68.
(This information furnished by Dana Hepper, Stand for Children.)
Argument in Favor
Your Children’s School Shouldn’t Endanger Their Lives
Vote Yes on Measure 68 to Help Local Communities Keep their Schools Safe
In November 2009, a three-alarm fire swept through the historic Marysville Elementary School in southeast Portland. Thanks to the quick actions of teachers, faculty, and firefighters, all 460 students made it out safely.
Unfortunately, there are countless school buildings across Oregon that are 100 years or more old, and haven’t been updated in many, many years, making them more prone to a disaster like the Marysville School fire. Existing state law makes it nearly impossible for small, rural districts to raise enough money to update or repair their facilities.
Measure 68 will help local communities make decisions about updating or repairing their school buildings while keeping local costs low.
Every school day, parents entrust their children’s safety to their local schools, and they trust that their school buildings are safe.
Your child should be as safe at school as they are at home.
As a firefighter, I urge you to vote YES on Measure 68 in order to help keep our students safe.
In addition, to keeping students safe, Measure 68 will help ensure that firefighters and emergency responders aren’t endangered by out-of-date buildings and faulty safety measures.
As a firefighter, I’m committed to keeping your family and your community safe. Voting YES on Measure 68 will help me and my colleagues do our job by giving local communities the power to make critical repairs and updates to school buildings and facilities.
The teachers and faculty at Marysville Elementary School should be commended for the swift action and cool- headedness that kept their students safe. But we should strive to prevent school emergencies before they happen.
Voting YES on Measure 68 will help make sure that every Oregon student is safe in their classroom.
Tualatin Valley Fire Fighters Local 1660
(This information furnished by Rocky Hanes, President, Tualatin Valley Fire Fighters Local 1660.)