Public schools sponsor ballot measures

Bond meant to fix heating, ventilation, AC systems, says co-chairman; levies up will also help fund tech, classrooms, labs



Ballots must be submitted by Feb. 11. The first measure will help renovate and expand Lincoln Middle School. The second measure will fund nurses and counselors. The third will be used to update technology.

KAITLYN TEJERO, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Public School board has included a bond and two replacement levies on the upcoming ballot. 

Shannon Focht, Pullman Public Schools communications coordinator, said the ballots were distributed on Jan. 24 and must be submitted by Feb. 11. 

Focht said the first ballot item is a $15 million bond which will be distributed over 20 years. It will help renovate and expand Lincoln Middle School. 

Larry Clark, co-chairman of Citizens for Pullman Schools, said the bond will also fix the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, the parking lot and add classrooms and science labs. 

“It is very overcrowded and hard for the students, which makes for a tough learning environment,” he said. “As a parent, driving through there for pick up and drop off is kind of difficult.”

Focht said the second ballot item is a 4-year enrichment levy for $5.3 million.

“This levy bridges the gap between what the state funds and the amount of money it takes to fund our school district,” she said. 

Clark said this levy will also help fund school nurses, counselors, art programs, sports and security. 

The third item on the ballot is a 4-year technology levy for $200,000 a year, Focht said. 

“That will be for computer technology, so for things like Chromebooks,” she said. “Also staying up to date on our security processes for the district and making sure we have current technology.”

Focht said both of the replacement levies are the same amount of money asked for in the last election, so there is no increase in cost. 

“Voters will see no increase in taxes based on their property values. So all of the tax rates are either equal to what we previously had or lower,” she said. 

She said school officials are making every effort to inform the community about what these different measures fund as well as how they will impact the schools and the students.  

“It is really in the hands of the voters now,” she said. “We’ve experienced really strong community support in the past, however, we don’t take that for granted.”

Clark said he urges people to submit their ballots by the deadline. 

“My concern is not so much them passing, but we also need a certain number of ballots for it to even be valid,” he said. “So what I’m looking for is making sure people get those ballots in.”

Clark said they have been successful in passing bonds and levies over the years.  

“I hate to make some kind of prediction, but I know Pullman has been very supportive of schools in the past,” he said. “People know that [schools] are important to a good community.”