The Struggle for Space in the Pasco School District and the Bond This November
A Pasco School District bond measure is on the November 7, 2017 ballot. The purpose of this bond is to build new schools, rebuild existing schools, work on transportation and maintenance facilities, and make safety and health improvements.
The district has been struggling with overcrowding for some time; in 2000, there were only 8,000 students. But in 2017, there are over 18,000 in the same buildings (about 600 new students per year). Currently, the K-8 enrollment is 2,300 students over capacity, and without change the projected enrollment for 2026 will exceed 4,400. The projects in the proposal include:
- Elementary School #16
- Elemenatry School #17
- Middle School #4
- A new Stevens Middle School
- And more!
In February of 2017, a similar bond was not approved. This previous bond contained Elemenatry Schools #16 and #17, along with a new Stevens Middle School. A probable reason for this was the cost of the project. In total, accounting for other funding, the November bond will cost about $99.5 million. To pay for this, a tax will be applied to Pasco homeowners. The estimated tax rate is $0.59 per &1,000 of assessed property value. For example, if your home is worth $100,000, then the rate would be $59 per year.
What do you think? Should this bond be approved, or might it be a bad idea to tax homeowners?