Hey all –
Today is voting day in PDX, and there’s a measure on the ballot that affects us quite a lot. The sum is huge to support the school bond ($548 million), but Portland Schools, as per the Mercury, are an embarassment.
PORTLAND’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS are an embarrassment: Only 53 percent of students graduate on time, and the average age of our buildings is 65 years. We’re outpaced by suburbs like Lake Oswego and Beaverton, which have lower dropout rates and better facilities.
…Our schools are falling apart. (We’re talking asbestos-coated pipes, oil furnaces that are time bombs for fire, and kids taking turns plugging in computers because of shoddy wiring.) They’ll be even worse in two years. And with the state mired in a budget apocalypse, it’s our responsibility to fix them. Now. Before a major disaster or tragedy makes us wish we’d voted yes.
We live across the street from an elementary school that both of my kids will go through. It’s old and extremely crowded — sometimes classes are conducted in the halls, but most often every year they get a new double-wide trailer that sits on the land where they conduct classes (without running water, etc)
It feels like hard timing, with the recession still upon us, but I believe this is an excellent investment in the future, will bring new life to PDX schools and new businesses to the city, and I will be voting yes.