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PPS Bond is for getting our school free of carcinogens: Coffee Chat notes

posted Apr 23, 2017, 8:30 PM by   [ updated Sep 6, 2017, 4:13 PM by Admin at Winterhaven ]
A HUGE thanks to Julie R. for organizing the awesome coffee chat service to parents.  There was so much information at this month’s coffee chat that I’m sharing notes, albeit a little late.  The PPS school bond folks were here and so was Know Thy Food/Warehouse (the business that many of us stop at up the street - scroll to the bottom to see why they came to talk to us).  

PPS Bond
Presenter: Bobbie Regan  Portlanders for Safe and Healthy Schools

Current Bond:  This bond addresses removing all known hazardous materials/carcinogens -- lead fixtures, lead paint, asbestos, etc.  It also provides for seismic improvements.  Winterhaven is expected to be on this list and we are expecting it to provide this cleanup and protection for our children. Three high schools will also be updated under this bond. (See Bond Background below this email, for the program of all school improvements spread over 32 years). The expected cost to Oregon tax payers is $1.49/$1000 (based on assessed property value). For details, here’s the two information sheets provided by the campaign and by PPS. And here’s the website they provided.

Opposition?: Though no one is opposing, there are still major challenges.  The last voter turnout for school board/bond elections was only 15%.  With the current political environment, that is expected again.  25% is required.   Also the struggle to find PPS leadership has impacted support.  The good news is that voter turnout is something can be addressed.  Additionaly, there is new leadership coming in with the new superintendent, strong new school board candidates, and opportunities for superintendent new hires.  

How you can help?  1.  Vote.  Ballots are out April 27, the vote is May 16.  2.  Help spread awareness.  This is not a campaign where parent advocates will be asked to change people’s minds.  They just have to tell listeners that their help is needed and this matters to our kids.  Bond Advocacy Organizers are asking parents to participate by gathering and coordinating canvassing, call banking, or postcard-writing events.  To make it easy for parents, our PTSA is willing to plan an event here at school, if parents are willing to participate.  If you are--  please reply “Yes! To this email and we’ll plan accordingly. 3. Post a sign. The bottom Left shelf in the office has some window signs if you would like one.

Bond Background:  This 2017 bond (which was intended for 2016 and delayed due due to the leadership changes at PPS) is part two of the 2012 bond.  These two bonds combined represent a long term program of improvement investments that our schools are in dire need of.  Oregon has struggled historically to provide capital dollars for our schools.  Our presenter shared that in most states the legislature grants matches and Oregon doesn’t do that.  This helps explain why we are in this situation now. (she also shared that our legislature doesn’t have a track record of prioritizing our schools and we have the third worst graduation rate in the nation).

The last bond included Major improvements/reconstruction for 3 high schools.  This upcoming bond will also include 3 high schools.  Each bond renewal in this program (every 4 years)  will address another 3 until they are all done.  Then they will move down to the elementary schools where they can improve 10 at a time with each bond.   

Know our neighbors….Know Thy Food
Did you know they started as a wholesome food buying club created by moms in their garage?  (I didn’t). They have an entire online shopping ordering option where you can order and pick up food.  While Whole Foods/New seasons has a 50%-100% markup, they have 26%.   You can trial the club for $25 for 3 months.   Know Thy Food is the food sales aspect of their business.  The Warehouse is the cafe, which in case you didn’t know has weekday shows for kids at 10:30.  They left some free drink cards, which can be found on the bottom shelf in the office. They also help us with our coffee for coffee chat so we are grateful for them!

Admin at Winterhaven,
Apr 23, 2017, 8:30 PM
Admin at Winterhaven,
Apr 23, 2017, 8:30 PM