The Woodburn School Board will vote on a resolution to place a bond on the May Primary Election ballot at its regular meeting on Thursday.

The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Woodburn High School lectorium, 1785 N. Front St. The public is invited to attend and comment on the proposal.

“Safe and well-maintained schools are important to student achievement,” said Superintendent Chuck Ransom in a press release. “Our current bond is expiring, and this would continue funding for facility repairs and school safety improvements at a lower tax rate.”

While the state provides revenue for student instruction, voter-approved bonds are the only source of funding a school district has for major repairs and renovations to its schools. Repairs and renovations reduce the need for new school buildings, which can cost more.

Some district schools require new roofs to stop leaks. Others have heating systems that are more than 20 years old, are no longer energy efficient and cost more to operate. If approved, the bond would pay for these types of major repairs and renovate buildings to provide additional classroom space. In the last 10 years, the student population in Woodburn schools has grown by 30 percent, but no new classrooms have been added.

A portion of the bond also would be for safety improvements at each of the four elementary, two middle and five small high schools. Bond funding would update security systems and technology to make schools safer, including school entrances, building and classroom locks and emergency reporting systems. The committee identified these as priority projects after community concerns grew in the wake of school shootings across the nation.

A group of 45 community leaders, elected officials, parents, teachers and administrators identified projects at each school for consideration by the Woodburn School Board. Board members will consider a resolution for a 20-year bond that is designed to continue funding for schools at a lower estimated property tax rate. If approved by the school board, the bond will be on Primary Election ballots for school district voters.

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