Hillsboro School District 2017 Bond
The Hillsboro School District Board of Directors has voted to place a $408 million capital construction bond on the November 2017 ballot. The bond would prioritize safety and security, update and repair aging school buildings, address overcrowding while planning for future growth, and provide a modern education for students.
The bond would renew the existing tax rate of $2.24/$1000 assessed value and would not increase the current property tax rate.
Prioritize Safety and Security
Making sure our school campuses are safe and secure for our students, staff and families is a chief priority. Unfortunately, some of our schools lack important modern safety features such as doors that lock from the inside, emergency alert systems, and security cameras.
Solution: The bond would add security cameras, enhance emergency communications, and upgrade security measures that help keep students, staff, and school visitors safe.
Renovate and Repair Aging Schools
Many school buildings are in need of significant repairs with aging and, in some cases, leaking roofs, outdated plumbing and boilers in desperate need of replacement. In addition, the District has 49 temporary portable classrooms, some of which are over 40 years old.
Solution: The bond would repair and update these aging systems, replace 15 of the portable classrooms in the worst condition, and complete significant upgrades at two of the District's oldest schools: Reedville Elementary and Hillsboro High.
Relieve Crowded Classrooms, Plan for Growth
Current estimates are that in the next 10 years, enrollment in the Hillsboro School District will increase by 1,900 students. Some of these students will move into portions of the District that already lack adequate space in existing school buildings, making a difficult overcrowding problem even worse, while others will be moving into new developments in our growing community.
Solution: The bond would construct additional elementary schools where future growth is happening, as well as expand two existing middle and high schools to accommodate expected growth and reduce overcrowding.
Provide a Modern Education for Every Student
Many Hillsboro school buildings are simply out-of-date and are not equipped to provide students with the modern best practices in education and technology they need in order to graduate career- and college-ready.
Solution: The bond would update our schools to provide a modern educational environment, which would include technology, labs, and spaces for hands-on learning. These modern spaces would expand access to up-to-date job training opportunities in partnership with Portland Community College and local employers, giving students a head start on careers and college.
Wise Use of Taxpayer Dollars
Hillsboro School District taxpayers want to know their money is being spent wisely and that the organizations receiving their tax dollars are frugal and fiscally-responsible. If passed, the bond would:
Maintain Current Tax Rate
This bond would renew the existing tax rate ($2.24/$1000 assessed value), and would not increase the current property tax rate.
Be Part of a Long-Term Plan
The 2017 bond would be part of a long-term plan to maintain and improve our school facilities. After property tax collections in November 2017, all outstanding bonds except for the one passed in 2006 will have been paid off. All projects undertaken as part of the 2006 bond were completed on-time and under-budget.
Qualify for State Matching Funds
The 2015 Oregon Legislature passed bill SB 447, the Oregon Schools Capital Improvement Matching Grant (OSCIM) program, to assist school districts in gathering support for school facility bond elections. Hillsboro School District has been awarded a $6 million OSCIM grant, which means that if our bond passes we would receive an additional $6 million to complete more needed projects. We would also be eligible to receive an additional $2 million (total of $8 million) if not all funds are awarded after the November elections.
Provide Independent Oversight
The District would convene a Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee to monitor the progress of the bond and ensure that projects are being managed responsibly. That committee would report back to the School Board on a regular basis as a measure of accountability. The District would also retain an outside firm to conduct regular, independent audits of bond expenditures. In addition, the bond would require that at least 90 percent of the money raised be spent on construction and repair projects, not administration.