Bethel School District Bond Measure

November 2020

The Bethel School Board has voted to place a $99.3 million school bond on the November 2020 ballot. The bond, Measure 20-314, will prioritize student safety, building repairs, updated textbooks and computers, and school improvements.

a photo montage with three pictures and a banner reading Bethel Bond 2020

No Tax Increase

The bond is estimated to not increase the current 2020-21 tax rate. Old school bonds are being paid off and the 2020 bond would replace the old bonds at the same tax rate. The current rate is $1.61/$1,000 of assessed valuation.

Prioritize Safety and Security

Improving safety and security for our students, families and staff in Bethel schools is a high priority. The bond would install additional security cameras, provide effective emergency communications systems, and upgrade security measures designed to help keep our schools safe.

Repair and Replace Aging School Facilities

As outlined in the District’s 2020 Facilities Assessment Report* and the 2020 Long Range Facilities Plan*, a number of significant building repairs are to be addressed, projects that the District cannot fund with operating dollars. These include roofs, siding, heating and ventilation systems, plumbing, and flooring.

In addition, the oldest school in Bethel, Cascade Middle School, has significant structural, mechanical electrical, and design issues. The bond would replace Cascade with a modern, energy-efficient, structurally sound middle school designed to meet the needs of students for decades to come.

Replace Outdated Textbooks and Computers

The bond measure will provide tools for student success in the form of new textbooks and technology. The number of Chromebooks for classroom and distance learning would be increased to meet student demand.

In addition, many staff computers are nearly 8 years old and no longer accommodate applications that are being used in the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a Bond Measure? Doesn’t the State pay for schools? How can the bond not increase the tax rate?  Learn the answers to these questions and more by clicking on the Frequently Asked Questions.

Use of Taxpayer Dollars

Bethel School District taxpayers want to know if their money is being spent wisely, and managed responsibly and frugally. Here are some relevant examples:

Maintaining the Current Tax Rate

This bond is estimated to not increase the current 2020-21 tax rate. Old bonds that helped build Prairie Mountain School are being paid off and the new bond would maintain the tax rate at the same $1.61/$1,000 of assessed valuation.

The current school district tax rate in Bethel is 41% lower than it was 10 years ago.

$6 Million in Matching Grants

Bethel School District will be awarded more than $6 million in state grants, awarded only if the 2020 bond measure is approved.

If the bond is not approved, the Oregon Schools Capital Improvement Matching Grant (OSCIM) funds will be awarded to the next school district on the waitlist that did pass a bond.

Refinancing Old Bonds

Bethel School District has refinanced its bonded debt three times in the last 9 years, reducing the long-term debt to taxpayers by more than $4 million.

Similar to restructuring the mortgage on a home loan, refinancing a portion of the District’s outstanding bonds at lower interest means the bonded debts will be paid off more rapidly and cost less in interest.

Previous Projects

In time and on budget!

In Bethel School District’s last three bond measures that built Meadow View, Prairie Mountain, Kalapuya, Fairfield, Malabon, and the Willamette Science building, the District’s construction projects came in on time and within budget.

With the last bond (2012) the District selected three local General Contractors to lead the work at its school construction projects.

Guaranteed Energy Savings

In order to address current energy savings throughout the District, Bethel has entered into an agreement with Ameresco. The company will provide $3.6 million in energy savings projects, including lighting, HVAC controls, plumbing improvements, and irrigation systems.

Financed with a $3.6 million loan, the improvements come at no upfront cost to the District and will be paid for through the guaranteed cost savings they generate.