To the editor:

A school district faces all kinds of challenges. I’ve had a front row seat as a Hermiston school board member for the last eight years as we’ve navigated uncertain state funding, shifting initiatives and mandates, budgetary constraints due to increasing PERS costs, and an ever-growing student population.

Through it all, the school board has always asked one question first: What is best for our students?

Adequate classroom space is a huge factor in delivering a high-quality education. While the state provides funding for additional educators as our student enrollment grows, it doesn’t pay for the classrooms for them to teach in.

That’s why the school board is asking voters to approve Measure 30-130. It will fund the construction of two new elementary schools and an annex at the high school to make sure we have the room we need to grow. The district will also be able to purchase land for future growth, because we know Hermiston isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

Thanks to the work of the facilities committee and an aggressive payment plan on previous debt, we can present a bond that accomplishes this goal without raising the property tax rate.

My time on the school board is over, but I’m proud of the work the school district has done and encourage a Yes vote on Measure 30-130.

Dave Smith


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