The Salem-Keizer School Board voted to place a $619.7 million general obligation bond on the May 15, 2018 ballot. If passed by voters, the proposed bond would increase the current property tax levy rate by an estimated $1.24 per $1,000 of assessed property value, or about $248 per year on a home valued at $200,000.
Read the Board’s resolution calling for an election and the ballot title language here.
A bond would fund projects like constructing additional space to relieve overcrowding and prepare for future enrollment growth, adding or expanding space for career-technical/vocational programs and science education, making seismic, safety and security renovations district-wide and more.
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In 2015, the district began the process to update the Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP). The LRFP outlines the facility improvements needed to support projected enrollment growth and to provide the right kinds of spaces to support educational programs. For example, science and Career-Technical/Vocational Education programs require special types of spaces and equipment. The total estimated cost of all work listed in the plan is $766 million.
Read the Final Long Range Facilities Plan (PDF)
The School Board instructed Superintendent Perry to form a Citizens Facilities Task Force to review the Draft Long Range Facilities Plan. The 18-member Task Force met over several months and reviewed every page of the Plan. The Task Force’s work resulted in a report to the School Board that recommended the Board pursue a general obligation bond to fund the work.
Visit the Citizens Facilities Task Force page for full details
The School Board accepted the Citizens Facilities Task Force report and instructed district staff to perform a bond feasibility study. The study was conducted in a phone survey of Salem and Keizer residents. The intent of the survey was to determine the community’s priorities for district facilities and willingness to support the work through property taxes. The results of the poll showed that the community is supportive of addressing the facility needs of the school district, but has concerns about the cost. In the survey, the community indicated support for a tax increase between $1.51 to $2.50 per thousand of assessed property value to pay for the work.
The School Board responded to the community’s feedback by asking district staff to reduce the size of the bond package. Staff revised and recalculated the list and presented a smaller package to the School Board at the end of May 2017. The revised package is about 19 percent less than the original package and totals around $620 million. This revised package was the basis for the School Board’s continued work to finalize the bond measure. The School Board voted to place a bond measure on the May 2018 ballot and continues to work on finalizing the bond package.
Parents, staff and members of the community were invited to attend one or more of six Listening & Learning Forums about the bond. Meetings were held at each traditional high school. Attendees heard a presentation about the bond and then met with school principals and Facilities & Planning Department staff to view concept maps, talk about projects planned for each school and ask quesitons. Feedback was collected at the Forums and was compiled into a report for the School Board.
Download the Listening & Learning Forum presentation (PDF) English l Spanish
After three special meetings to review feedback from the community and staff on the base bond package, and receiving additional information regarding special education program needs at high schools, seismic review panel information, land acquisition needs and other program considerations, the School Board asked staff to again revise the bond package, considering the following guidance:
At its December 12, meeting, the Board heard the first reading of a revised package totaling $619.7 million and includes the following changes, and others:
A $619.7 million general obligation bond is estimated to increase the current property tax levy rate by $1.24 per thousand of assessed property value, or about $248 per year on a home valued at $200,000.
Download the proposed bond package flyer dated December 2017 (PDF) English l Spanish
Download the Fast Facts Sheet (PDF) English l Spanish
At its January 9 meeting, the School Board unanimously approved the final bond package, and heard the first reading of the Resolution to call a measure election and the Ballot Title to be included in the voter’s pamphlet.
Download the document describing the bond package (PDF)
Download the Resolution and Ballot Title (PDF)
At its February 13 meeting, the School Board approved the resolution calling for a measure election and the ballot title.