Opposition calls for ‘No’ on CTE bond

MEDFORD, Ore.– Medford voters will be casting their ballots next week and one issue they’ll be looking at is a $25 million school bond.

The money would help Medford School District build career and technical education facilities. However, the measure isn’t a sure thing especially when the opposition is led by someone close to the district.

Everyone in the district is in agreement that CTEs are important for schools to have, providing students with a chance to further their education for the workplace. But some disagree on how the district should move forward on it.

One of those is Kevin Husted, chairman of the Medford School District budget committee.

“It seems like the first option was the one we went with which was let’s go get $25 million to build two brand new facilities,” said Husted.

He feels the process was rushed without considering other options or the long term effects.

“We have RCC we could partner with,” said Husted. “The nice thing about RCC and doing some of those things like that is then we don’t have our own staff and therefore PERS going up as well.”

The bond would build two new facilities at North and South Medford High School. It would expand plumbing and electrical classes as well as new carpentry and HVAC programs.

All things Husted is behind.

“We are all for CTE. We want more. We’ll all for children, we want more opportunities for our kids,” he said. “We just want a little more fiscally responsible and a little more community based. More community involvement.”

Most of the members of the Medford School Board are for the bond and disagreed with Husted’s statements that the project was rushed.

“Career technical education has been not only a statewide strategy but certainly a district wide strategy for sometime,” said Michael Campbell, vice-chair of the Medford School Board. “So when people say it feels rushed, I don’t necessarily agree. I think this is the time to do this.”

Husted agrees that CTEs should be implemented as quickly as possible. He just wishes other less costly solutions could have been discussed.

“I think that at the end of the day what we need to do is roll up our sleeves and we need to get to work,” he said. “Our kids definitely need more CTE, we need more technical help – absolutely! This valley is starving for it but it doesn’t mean we need to take a bunch of money and throw it at it.”

The Measure 15-175 will be on the ballot next Tuesday, May 15. You have until 8 p.m. that night to turn in your ballot in a ballot drop box.

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