Grants Pass school bond rejected; leaders not giving up

Grants Pass, Ore. —  After more than a year of campaigning to put a bond on the ballot, the Grants Pass school bond was rejected by voters, Tuesday. The bond would have brought in around $138 million dollars to improve safety, and build two new middle schools.

The bond would’ve cost Josephine County residents $1.95 per every $1,000 of assessed property value. For example, if you own a home worth $165,000 you’d pay $322 annually.

It was a cost, for one reason or another – that was too much for voters. But, the school board said – they’re not giving up.

“We do need to invest in our future – and that’s our kids,” said Garry Penning, Grants Pass School Board.

Unfortunately for the Grants Pass School District and its board, voters chose not to invest this election, and rejected the school bond.

“Even though it wasn’t successful, we feel we did a good job of educating folks,” Penning said.

The bond would’ve gone to building two new middle schools, which they said they desperately need.

“We got our message out, and people are understanding the issue, especially with the overcrowding,” Penning said.

Overcrowding wasn’t the only problem the bond was going to solve.

“If we have another fall like we did last year with the smoke. That was a health issue for our kids in our school buildings,” Penning said.

Another issue – safety.

“Unfortunately in this day and age, we need to secure our students should we have somebody come on the campus,” Penning said.

The school board says they’re not done fighting for its students.

“The need is still real and it’s still there,” Penning said.

The school board said its next steps will be to continue the discussion with district administration.
Penning said he’s confident another bond or levy could end up on the ballot in the future. However, he doesn’t think it’ll be as soon as this November.

NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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