Dear Garden Valley Church Family,

Father, we pray for wisdom as we vote on May 17th for candidates that will uphold your righteous causes and the Constitution of the United States of America.  We pray also for wisdom for all who are voting in the State of Oregon concerning different county and school bond measures.

County Measure 10-185

For Douglas County, Lord, we pray for wisdom on how to vote concerning County Measure 10-185 to Expand the Idaho State border to include Douglas County.  Lord, you know what the best outcome for Oregonians would be, and we ask for passage of this measure if it would be beneficial, but if Your plan for Oregon’s future involves the state to remain as it is, then we ask for this measure to fail.

School District Measure 10-187

For School District Bond Measure 10-187, for the issuance of bonds in the total amount of $154,000,000, payable from property taxes that are not subject to limitations, with an estimated tax rate of $1.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value for 20 years.  (Actual levy rate may differ due to changes in interest rates and assessed value.)  Lord, we pray for wisdom for voting in favor or against this bond measure that will only be paid by property owners (52% of those voting).

Perspectives on Bond Measure 10-187 submitted by Kathy LaRose

In reviewing the Roseburg Public Schools District website and various flyers mailed to my home, I personally feel that this is going to be a financial hardship for people, especially since our property taxes are already high.  In looking at my Real Property Tax Statement for 7/1/21-6/30/22, I paid a total of $3,381 for taxes.  Out of that amount, $1,136 went to education and Roseburg received $913 from that.  If this bond measure passes, there are no limitations based on Sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.  My net taxable assessed value was $230,499, so if you multiply $1.85 times every $1,000 of assessed value, it comes to about $426 extra I will be paying every year.  And this actual levy rate may differ due to changes in interest rates and assessed value.  We are already seeing interest rates skyrocketing, and everyone knows the values of homes have gone up tremendously, so our assessed values are likely going to be going up.

I have many questions on why the school district board unanimously approved such a large bond measure amount of $154 million for 20 years, and as well as questions on the plans for spending this bond money.

When the last education bond measure expired, there was again another bond measure that was voted down.  I have to ask, how much of those funds received for the previous bond measure were used for “health, safety, security, aging buildings, and modernization of learning spaces”? Yet the mailers we received on this measure highlights the average age of the schools as 73 years old, and the dire need to repair them, as though they have never been maintained and have been neglected for decades.

I agree that every school should have air conditioning, and that repairs and replacements need to be done on plumbing, electrical, painting, and roofing.  These costs should be included in the annual budget.  There are other ways to raise funds that the community would be willing to participate in.  Personally, I would be willing to give one-time donations of $100, but I do not want to be required to pay over $400 on my tax bill for 20 years.  Five “new” multipurpose rooms for elementary schools that can also be used for “emergency shelters” or “community event spaces” is going to cost millions. Why do we need emergency shelters? Why do we need community event spaces? The other six schools have these facilities. Why do we need to rebuild “Old Main” at RHS when the entire school was rebuilt not that many years ago, yet on the mailer they showed RHS was built in 1926.

Why do schools need money for “health and safety”? Health is supposed to be provided by doctors and medical facilities, not schools. Schools can provide safety and security by employing staff responsible for supervising students and providing surveillance of the buildings and grounds.  Affordable motion sensor lights and cameras could also be used at the schools It is not necessary to spend millions to construct all kinds of locked entrances where parents cannot even get to their students without a prison type escort with multiple keys

Just like the library bond measure that failed, they found a way to keep the library operating without using funds from property owners who have never even stepped foot in the library. They asked for way too much money for that measure so they could continue paying six-figure salaries and health insurance to staff members and “modernize with state-of-the-art” remodeling, new computer systems and technology…again, all at the expense of property taxpayers.

Why do we need generators at all schools when power outages do not occur often? How big are these generators and how much does each one cost? When we had the snowstorm that shut things down, they closed the schools. People were warned to stay home and off the roads, not go to schools.

Why can’t we repair playground equipment? Why does everything have to be new? I would love new marble countertops in my kitchen, but I live within my budget and my countertops that are 17 years old.

Why doesn’t Roseburg School District use some of its *$19,620,206 ESSER funds received this past year for “health and safety” when they implemented all sorts of requirements such as masking all the children, mandatory masking and vaccinations for staff (except for those with an exemption), free COVID diagnostic screening, testing, and shots (provided by Aviva at the Roseburg High School Health Office to students 15 years and older without parental knowledge or consent).   What exactly was that $19,620,206 spent on?

And how much money has been spent to pay for companies to do this bond measure and the one that failed a few years ago? That money could have purchased AC for one or more schools.

People are struggling with the recession, inflation, and resulting high prices of food, gas, products, and services.  We have 25% of the population who are retired, and most are on fixed incomes.  Many people have their children in private schools and are paying tuition on top of property taxes that go towards public schools.  Personally, I am not going to vote to approve this bond measure which would result in my having to pay $426 or more every year for 20 years, when $913 of my last tax payment already went to Roseburg School District.  It is too much money for projects that are not necessary.  Roseburg School District receives just under one-third of all property tax funds and needs to live within its budget.

By Kathy LaRose

May 7, 2022

*NOTE:  The following information was provided to me through an email communication in September, 2021, with Superintendent Jared Cordon, Roseburg Public Schools, (541) 440-4014.

Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan is posted on the district website and can be readily accessed under the Covid-19 Information page at https://www.roseburg.k12.or.us/families/back-to-school-hub/2021-22-covid-19-information

In terms of Roseburg Public Schools ESSER allocations, they are as follows:

ESSER I: $1,424,792.51

ESSER II: $5,603,014.02

ESSER III: $12,592,399.25

These funds were based on several factors, including district enrollment. These funds have been and will continue to be used to support our children and families throughout our schools.