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4J Board to Vote on Bond Measure

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EUGENE, Ore. — The 4J School Board will decide Wednesday night whether to add a tax measure to May’s ballot.

After more than a year of discussion and public polling, 4J might soon ask the public for help with all the work that it says needs to be done. The seven board members will vote tonight whether to move forward with a bond measure, to start on its long-range facility plan.

The parents and guardians of Howard Elementary School students say they need a new school, and the principal agrees.

“I was actually a student here at Howard back in the ’70s and it was not a very new building then. The building’s not weatherized; it’s all single-paned windows. The building when they built it was not built for today’s technology,” said Principal Allan Chinn, Howard Elementary School.

In a technology immersion school like Howard Elementary, it means there are wires everywhere to stay connected.  Safety is also an issue. Snakes and rats have made homes in the walls before. That’s where this $170 million bond comes in.

“With our bond money we can invest in the classroom. We can buy new technology. We can buy curriculum. Most of our buildings are in need of safety upgrades and right now given our financial situation without the bond we do not have the capacity to do that” said Jennifer Geller, 4J Board Chair.

If 4J spent its general fund on building and technology improvements it would take away from what’s happening inside the classroom.

“Voters can vote to approve bond measures and provide funding for capital improvements like such as school buildings, long lasting materials like technology and curriculum, and school buses so that doesn’t come out of the pool of money that is available for teaching and learning,” said Kerry Delf, 4J Spokeswoman.

If the bond measure is put on the May ballot and passes, it would be paid off over 20 years.

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