Portland Public Schools asks voters for $1.2 billion to remodel Jefferson High, expand curriculum and tech access: Election 2020 preview
When Portland Public Schools set out to pitch voters on a billion-dollar bond earlier this year, the district was doing so under very different circumstances.
Back in January, nobody in the city had heard the name George Floyd. Oregon wouldn’t see its first coronavirus case for another month. And district officials were considering how best to spend $39 million in new state tax revenue.
Months later, members of the school board’s bond committee wondered aloud whether it was wise to ask voters for hundreds of millions to renovate three high schools as the economy tanked and the district found itself drafting a scaled back budget.
Decision-makers across the state’s largest district ultimately decided to put forth a leaner proposal to rebuild Oregon’s only high school in a historically Black neighborhood, fund support programs for students in the area and pump tens of millions into curriculum, technological investments and accessibility updates