The Portland Public Schools (“PPS”) are begging for money once again. It’s for the children. It’s only $25 per month for the average homeowner. Pay up, or we’ll shoot the dog.
The $548 million bond measure will “only” be $25 per month for the average Portland homeowner. The average Portland home is currently valued at about $287,500. For Portland residents whose home is valued higher than that, the price will be proportionately higher. For example, if you home is valued at $400,000, this bond measure will cost you about $32 per month, or about $385 per year for the next six years.
And, if it’s approved, it “would probably be only the first in a series of measures in the next 20 to 30 years,” according to Willamette Weekly.
But, it’s for the kids
While we are told that these are necessary improvements, “PPS plans to offer upgrades at all 85 campuses.” Are all campuses in dire need for improvement? No. Why are all campuses included in the measure? Why, to appeal to all voters, of course. If only the schools that truly needed upgrades were included, the measure may not pass.
And, of course, the improvements would add promised jobs for unemployed workers, discussed by Governor Kitzhaber during the election. While his energy upgrades may be paid for by savings, property taxes would be footing the bill for these construction jobs.
You paid for the poll. Here’s what it said.
PPS hired research firm Davis, Bibitts & Midghall to determine whether there was potential for a tax measure to pass right now. The cost? $21,600. The findings?
1. Almost 2/3 of voters would support education construction bonds at the approximate $500 million level.
2. The two highest priorities for voters are jobs and education.
This measure, however, does not put $1 toward improving education. It doesn’t even target those buildings with the greatest need. It does, however, provide jobs throughout the Portland School District – financed by property taxes. Oh, and the property taxes are being paid by people who are suffering with higher than 10% unemployment.
What we need
Yes, we need to fix the Marysville K-8 School that burned down last year. Insead of spending money on research for polls, perhaps we should complete a needs analysis for Roosevelt, Jefferson and Cleveland high school buildings. Faubion, Laurelhurst, Markham and Rigler primary schools should also be reviewed.
But covered playgrounds for schools with possibly no physical education programs?
The electorate may not be as gullible as Davis, Bibitts & Midghall thinks.
I’m holding out for what the kids need, not what PPS wants. And I’m calling their bluff. I’ll bet they won’t shoot the dog if this doesn’t pass.
And you didn’t have to pay me $21,600 for my opinion.