Our students need room to learn. Our enrollment is growing, and our elementary schools are crowded. We need more classrooms for the additional students coming to us in the next 10 years and for lower class sizes now.
Our students need safe schools. This bond will make students safer. It improves security by upgrading the video surveillance system at every school in the district and installing electronic locks on every classroom door. It rebuilds our oldest schools, which do not meet today’s fire and earthquake standards. That’s one of the reasons why King County Sherriff Urquhart endorsed the bond.
A community-led group, known as the Citizens Facilities Advisory Committee, developed a long-term plan to ensure students have room to learn. This $299 million bond is part of a three-phase facilities plan developed by citizens from across the district. It is a fiscally responsible approach that puts our most urgent needs first and capitalizes on state matching funds.
Voter-approved bonds are the only way to fund school construction and renovation. The state does not provide dollars for building schools. State match is available only after voters pass a bond.
Only our most urgent needs are included in the November 8th bond package. This bond package will provide funding to replace our oldest schools, make renovations and repairs that are cost-effective, build needed classroom space and make safety improvements district-wide. Projects include:
Rebuild Highline High School, saving as much of the façade as financially and structurally feasible.
Build a new elementary school to serve Des Moines Elementary students, with room for growing enrollment.
Construct a new middle school to serve the growing student population now in our elementary schools and provide broader educational opportunities for sixth graders.
Begin design of Tyee and Evergreen High Schools and Pacific Middle School, saving $23 million and jumpstarting the construction process when a future bond is passed.
Install electronic door looks on every classroom and security cameras at schools that don’t have them.
Replenish the depleted fund for critical needs and emergency repairs.
The bond addresses our most urgent needs while keeping costs to taxpayers low. The measure would raise $299 million for capital improvements, repairs and construction. The estimated cost to the homeowner starting in 2018 is 79 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Use the Bond Cost Calculator on our home page.
We will be eligible for state matching funds to make our local investment go even further. If passed, the district will receive nearly $60 million in state matching funds and will be eligible for additional funding to lower class sizes once additional classrooms are built.
Highline Public Schools has a track record of fiscal responsibility. Every project funded by voter-approved bonds in 2002 and 2006 was completed on budget. HPS qualified for millions of dollars in state, Port, and federal matching funds. Through good financial management and wise use of matching dollars, HPS was able to build three additional schools beyond the ones funded by the 2002 and 2006 bonds. By refinanciing past bonds, HPS has saved taxpayers nearly $12.5 million.
Senior citizens and disabled property owners can receive a property-tax deduction. For details, visit the King County Department of Assessment, Taxpayer Assistance – Tax Relief webpage and go to the Senior Citizens/Disabled Exemption section or call 206-296-3920.
You can make our kids, schools and community stronger by voting Yes for Prop 1 / Highline Schools bond by November 8th! Please join your neighbors on voting yes on page 2 of your ballot.
Download the PDF version of Top 10 Facts About The Highline Bond