The Bethel School Bond was approved by Bethel voters in the November 2012 election with a 73% Yes vote. This was the greatest level of support in Bethel School District history. Thanks go out to the Bethel community and Friends of Bethel Schools, a grassroots group that campaigned honestly and diligently on behalf of the bond measure.
The bond did not increase anyone’s tax rate. Old bonds were paid off and the new bond took their place at the same tax rate, $1.61 per $1,000 of assessed valuation ($161 annually on a $100,000 home.) That rate has since declined even further, yet on Election Day the tax rate was already 40% lower than it was in 2009.
The Bethel bond addressed no-frills repairs and upgrades throughout the District:
Bond-funded repairs and upgrades included:
- Fixing leaky roofs, replacing single-pane windows and failing carpet.
- Upgrading school security features including video security systems, modern fire alarm control panels, and classroom doors that lock from the inside in case of a school emergency.
- Bethel’s old student textbooks were updated, and outdated school computers were replaced (on Election Day 2012, 90% of Bethel’s computers were beyond or near the end of their expected life).
- New, efficient heating and ventilation controls are now saving on energy costs.
- Modern and safe science classrooms were added at Willamette High School to accommodate modern instruction. And Bethel’s two oldest elementary schools – Fairfield and Malabon – have been replaced. The old buildings were constructed in the post-World War II era and had significant deficiencies that could not be affordably addressed with repairs or renovations. All the new school buildings were ready for students at the start of the 2015-16 school year.
Bethel School District has been committed to providing these upgrades and repairs in the most academically appropriate, environmentally suitable, and financially prudent ways possible.
Address your questions to Pat McGillivray, Bethel Community Relations.