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BLS Learning Levy Looks To Improve CTE Offerings

BEND, Or -- With less than a week before the election, Bend La Pine Schools is banking on support for its Learning Levy. Superintendent Dr. Steve Cook says enhancing curriculum benefits students, “Ensuring that we're giving them access to those opportunities and so that they could live and work in the communities that they currently live in and thrive in doing so. And so, we're excited about that conversation.” The local option levy is for $1 per $1,000 of assessed property value. It’s expected to generate over $112-million over five years.

Bolstering Career Technical Education options is a main priority. Cook says the ballot measure is a response to community feedback, “We ask questions about those priorities and whether or not there was an interest in this community in supporting expansion of and making sure that those priorities have an opportunity to live and do well for our students in this community. What we're seeing is pretty high demand for these and not only for more access to existing pathways, but potentially even adding pathways. And so, we see that as a really exciting opportunity for students.”

Dr. Cook tells KBND News there will be transparency in how tax dollars are spent, “We annually are expected to produce our budget to the public and provide access to it. And we also provide an audit for every budget the following year that demonstrates that we've kept our commitment.” An Independent Citizen committee will also be formed. “So, one of the things that I can assure folks is that this is, if it were to pass, this is something that we want to make sure and prioritize is how these dollars, how these local dollars are allocated. So that it's clear what the spend would look like,” he says.

In addition to the CTE curriculum, the Learning Levy aims to reduce or maintain class sizes. “As a general rule for 33 schools tending to this, it does require more resources. What we are proposing is one portion of the prioritization of this levy if it were to pass would be to commit to adding staff.”

 

There is no organized opposition to Measure 9-167.

Ballots must be dropped off or postmarked by 8 p.m. Tuesday.

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