Questions and Answers Building for Excellence Bond Measure Nov. 5 2019
On November 5, 2019, Renton School District is asking for voter approval for an important ballot measure:
"Building for Excellence" School Construction Bond measure
What is a School Construction Bond Measure?
School Construction Bond measures are the way school districts in Washington State fund new school construction and large building repairs and renovations. State law requires voters to approve these important local funding measures to allow local schools to renovate or rebuild schools, or for needed large-scale maintenance work. The state does not provide funding for this school work: voters must approve School Construction Bond measures for this work to be done.
What projects are included in this School Construction Bond?
The 2019 School Construction Bond includes building a new, much-needed elementary school in the northeast (Highlands/Sunset) area of the district. The nearly $250 million measure also includes constructing additional science classrooms at high schools to allow students to meet the increased graduation requirements; needed work at other schools and classrooms; Hazen High School's aging student/community swimming pool; school roofs, air systems, and flooring; field improvements, safety and security upgrades; as well as other school building improvement projects throughout the district. See a school-by-school list of projects here.
How were the School Construction Bond projects chosen?
Projects for the 2019 School Construction Bond were chosen after a months-long study that included input from principals and school staff; an independent architectural and engineering review of all sites; and input from the district's planning, construction, and maintenance staff. The district then convened a committee of parents, community members, architects, and others to collect input on the proposed projects, and presented the list to school board members for consideration.
Why are we building an additional elementary school?
Elementary schools in the northeast section of the district (Highlands/Sunset) are already at capacity; some now have many
more students than the school was original built for. Additionally, that area of Renton continues to grow at a rapid pace with families and businesses moving into the area for its regionally low housing costs, good schools and amenities, and quality of life. The City of Renton and the Renton Housing Authority have big plans to provide more market-rate, affordable housing throughout the area. This growth and other construction projects, coupled with the current high number of students in area schools, means the district must act now to provide more learning space for current students and those we know will move into the area in the next several years.
Will the proposed bond measure increase my tax rate?
No. Because of improved assessed property values and the many additional families and businesses that have moved into the Renton School District boundaries, this measure will not increase tax-rates.
That means the owner of a median priced home of $400,000 will have saved more than $572 per year in Renton Schools property taxes since 2017.
What about senior citizens on a fixed income?
Senior citizens (age 62+) and disabled individuals with a total annual income of under $35,000 may be eligible for a residential property tax exemption. Visit the King County Assessor’s Office Web site for more information, or call them at 206-296-3920.
How do I vote?
All registered voters will receive their ballots in the mail beginning the week of Oct. 15, 2019. Ballots will not require a stamp and be returned/postmarked by Nov. 4, 2019, or to be dropped in a King County Elections drop box to be counted. (Visit the Elections Office website).
Renton School District citizens have a long history of strong support for their schools. With their votes, community members have shown that they trust Renton School District to maintain and upgrade school facilities. A consistent investment in local schools ensures that current students and future generations will graduate with a meaningful diploma that provide them many choices for their future.
Governor closes schools for remainder of 2019-2020 school year
Today, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that schools across the state will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year in order to slow the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus. During this closure, all schools in our district will remain closed.
We acknowledge continued school closures present many challenges for students, staff, families, and the entire community. This is difficult news for all of us: students miss their friends and teachers, and we miss our students. While staff across our district are demonstrating their professional and personal commitment to our students in meaningful and inspiring ways, we understand that this extended closure also raises numerous questions for students and families. We have been working for the past several weeks to provide education in a different, sustainable model; and we will continue to work to provide answers to questions brought by this new directive.