Each year, the Hermiston School District can expect to see an additional 50 to 100 children walk through its doors. Because the growth has been sustained, the school district has been able to budget for new teachers, equipment and programs to meet the needs of all its students. But state funding doesn't take into account the brick and mortar necessary to keep up with student growth. That's why local districts must secure the support of their voters to fund new schools.
Looking at Measure 30-130, on the November ballot by the Hermiston School Board, shows how careful the district is being with its limited resources and local taxpayer money. There are no frills, just three main projects that are critical to keeping up with the growth. There will also be a mandated oversight committee that will monitor the way the money is spent to make sure the projects are delivered as promised.
Hermiston has a record of good financial management. An aggressive payment plan on the 1999 school bond has led to a property tax reduction this fall. The districts business department has, for the past 12 straight years, earned the Excellence in Financial reporting award from the Government Finance Officers Association.
As an added bonus, the district is eligible for $6.6 million in state funding if the bond is approved.
The school district has worked hard to be a responsible manager of taxpayer dollars, and Measure 30-130 shows what a responsible bond proposal looks like. I encourage a yes vote in November.
Mark F. Gomolski