Voters Decide on Ballot Measures
Students in Texas’ Austin Independent School District, California’s Long Beach Unified School District, Oklahoma City Public Schools and Rhode Island’s Providence Public Schools received good news on Election Day, with the approval of ballot measures that will provide significant investments.
Voters in Austin passed a $2.44-billion bond that will enable the school district to make crucial repairs and improvements to aging school buildings and fund safety and security projects.
“This historic investment will enable us to make significant improvements to aging facilities that will free up millions of dollars a year in our operating budget — money that can help us reach our goal of becoming the highest paying school district for teachers in the region,” said Interim Superintendent Anthony Mays.
Long Beach Ballot Measure Q Passes
According to district officials, more than 80 percent of the school buildings in California’s Long Beach Unified School District are over a half-century old. So, it was good news for the school system when voters approved Measure Q, a ballot measure that will provide the district with $1.7 billion to upgrade school facilities.
In a letter to the community, Long Beach Schools Superintendent Jill Baker thanked voters for passing the measure and investing in schools. “This victory is for our more than 65,000 students, and the countless students who will benefit from upgraded school facilities in the years to come,” wrote Baker. “We are deeply grateful to our parents, teachers, staff, and community members who made this victory possible. Because of their support, our students will have access to safe and modern schools.”
Oklahoma City Public School Passes Largest Bond in District History
A $955-million bond issue surpassed the necessary 60 percent of the vote for approval, granting Oklahoma City Public Schools its largest bond measure in history. Funds will be used to build two new high schools, expand a middle school, and several other projects.
"I'm grateful that the focus for them, for us, is our kids, that they saw something in the two propositions, that they see something in the district, they see something in the children that attend our schools that compelled them to go and vote the way they did,” said Oklahoma City Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel.
The district’s last bond issue passed in 2016, generating $180 million, being only the second bond for the district in the last 15 years.
And voters approved the passage of a $125-million school construction bond referendum to benefit Rhode Island’s Providence Public Schools. The funds will be used to support renovations at school buildings in the district and help build a new school. According to school district officials, the average age of Providence school buildings is 75 years, with many buildings over 100 years old.