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Voters Decide on Education Ballot Issues

  • Election Day brought good news for several big-city school districts and students who will benefit from new and improved learning environments with updated infrastructure and technology.  

    In Texas, voters approved two bond proposals for the Dallas Independent School District. Proposition A will provide $3.2 billion to fund repairs and upgrades to more than 200 schools, while Proposition B will provide $270 million to buy new computer devices for students to learn virtually and make updates to technology. In 2015, voters approved a $1.6-billion bond.

    Voters also approved two bonds to benefit the San Antonio Independent School District, the largest ever for the school system. Proposition A was a $1.21-billion construction bond and Proposition B was the $90-million technology component of the bond.

    Also approved was a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) that will generate $66 million annually for the Fort Worth Independent School District and will be used to fund compensation for teachers, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for students and staff and provide students with computer devices and internet access. And a Voter Approval Tax Rate Election – VATRE, was approved for the Arlington Independent School District. The school system will use funds from the VATRE, estimated to be approximately $56 million, to provide higher salaries for teachers and support staff as well as boost money for instructional programs.

    In Ohio, voters approved Issue 68, a levy the Cleveland Metropolitan School District will use to cover the district’s operating budget for 10 years and maintain small class sizes, upgrade technology and provide internet connectivity.

    Voters also approved the renewal of an existing levy that will raise $48 million annually for Cincinnati Public Schools for the next five years and be used to expand preschool opportunities, continue college and career-readiness programs and increase students' access to technology.

    In North Carolina, a $300-million school bond issue to support new and updated schools was approved to benefit Guilford County Schools in Greensboro.

    In California, a $7-billion School Upgrades and Safety Measure for the Los Angeles Unified School District was approved, which will be used to modernize and replace aging and deteriorating school facilities and update technology.

    In Florida, voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum Pinellas County Schools will use to boost reading, music and art programs; provide up-to-date technology and textbooks; and help recruit and retain quality teachers. Voters also approved a half-penny sales tax for Duval County Public Schools in Jacksonville that will go toward creating safer, more enhanced school facilities and learning environments for students and staff.

    In Oregon, a $1.2-billion bond measure for Portland Public Schools passed to fund health and safety projects, replace textbooks and technology equipment and modernize several high schools.

    And in Colorado, voters approved a $795-million bond for Denver Public Schools to build and improve schools and a $32-million levy for increased student and staff support, including funding new mental health professions and hiring full-time nurses in schools.