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Guest Column: Blaine school district wants public input
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The directors ask that registered voters of the Blaine school district, including parents, patrons, students and staff members, take a few minutes to visit the Blaine school district website at www.blainesd.org and complete the online survey that has been posted. Your input will be carefully reviewed, as the board moves forward to consider the next steps in this process.
The Blaine school district presented a $32 million bond initiative to voters on April 26. The initiative was primarily targeted at supporting long-needed upgrades to the Blaine High School facility ($28.5 million) as well as a number of additional, smaller scale goals. The overall community response to the bond initiative as of May 9 totaled 2,666 “yes” votes and 1,842 “no” votes, or 59.14 percent approval. School bond initiatives require 60 percent approval and, as such, the measure did not pass.
The needs presented in the measure will remain prevalent until addressed. The overall condition of the Blaine High School facility has been at issue for many years.
The board of directors fully understood the challenge of taking this measure to the voters when the current economy presents such significant concerns. However, record low financing rates and substantially competitive construction rates were considered compelling reasons to present the bond initiative in April.
The board will now consider next steps to address the long term facility needs of the school district, while considering options for going back to voters at some point in the future for a related request.
If these needs are going to be addressed, the reality of the funding structure in Washington state is that the resources are going to have to be generated locally.
In February, 2012, the Blaine school district will have to present to voters a renewal of the four-year maintenance and operations levy. The levy represents 28.5 percent of our overall operational costs. It is essential to the day-to-day operations of the overall program. While not certain, it is unlikely that the board would choose to bring the bond initiative back to the voters until after the levy has been addressed. As such, we have time to collect additional feedback from our parents and patrons.
The Blaine school district has a reputation across the state for strong community involvement. We are greatly appreciative of all that our constituents in Blaine, Birch Bay and Point Roberts are doing in support of students and education.
Blaine School District