PPS' $790 million school bond approved, board gets new members

Voters drop off last-minute ballots Tuesday, May 16, 2017 in Portland, Ore. Residents within the Portland Public Schools are deciding a $790 million school bond. (KATU Photo)

Voters approved the Portland Public Schools $790 million school bond by a wide margin Tuesday night.

Unofficial results show nearly 63 percent were approving the measure.

The bond would help fix deteriorating schools. The money would be used to renovate Benson and Madison high schools and rebuild Lincoln High School and Kellogg Middle School. Planning for upgrades to Cleveland, Jefferson and Wilson high schools would also be undertaken. And the district said about $150 million would fund district-wide projects that would include reducing lead by removing lead-based paint and fixtures.

School supporters celebrated Tuesday night's victory and parents were happy.

"It's amazing. This is exactly what the kids deserve, in Southeast Portland, especially, and all over the city," said Lisa Kensel, mother of three school-aged children.

PPS said the average owner of a home valued at $300,000 would pay $420 a year for the first four years, and then about $200 a year for the life of the levy.

Portland School Board

PPS will get a couple new school board members, along with a familiar face.

Rita Moore handily defeated Jamila Singleton Munson in Zone 4, winning 57 percent of the vote. Scott Bailey will take over the Zone 5 seat, defeating Virginia La Forte and Traci Flitcraft. And Julia Brim Edwards will return to the board, roundly defeating five other challenges in Zone 6.

Other Races

In Washington County the public safety levy to fund the sheriff's office will pass. It pays for major crimes investigations, advanced crisis training and enhanced enforcement levels.

However, voters struck down the Mt. Hood Community College bond measure. It would have raised $75 million. It hasn't passed a bond since 1974.

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