7/23/2014

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Upgrading schools in Moscow and Pullman have voters deciding fate

Upgrading schools in Moscow and Pullman have voters deciding fate
MOSCOW, ID - After hours upon hours of campaigning, the Pullman School District successfully passed their $53.5 million dollar bond this week.

"We were with a group of people, of course, waiting for the results to come in, and everybody was just almost speechless," said Pullman School District Superintendent Paul Sturm.

Not only did Pullman say "Yes" to their schools, the bond received a 78% approval rate.

"I mean, I've been here for eleven years and people kept talking about, 'When are we going to do this, when are we going to do this?' said Strum. "So it seems like the timing was right."

Before any changes are made to the high school, the district will make room for the increasing amount of elementary school students.

"Our target is to have classrooms by the Fall of 2014 at Franklin Elementary," said Sturm.

Across the border, the Moscow school district is hoping their $10.8 million dollar bond will also be approved.

"The tax impact will not be as high as it was on the Pullman voters, and so we have high hopes that our community will support our efforts," said Moscow School District Superintendent Dale Kleinert.

Moscow's bond is only a fraction of Pullman's, but that doesn't mean passing it, will be any easier. The state of Washington will supplement Pullman's bond by at least $14 million-dollars, but Idaho won't provide any funding assistance to Moscow's schools.

"We are at a disadvantage in Idaho because the funding structure isn't there for building assistance in all of our schools and also the super-majority makes it much more tough to pass a bond," said Kleinert.

While Pullman needed a 60% approval rate, Moscow needs a two-thirds majority, which is about 67%. Moscow School District Superintendent Dale Kleinert is staying positive.

"Good schools make for good business as well, and our business community realizes that it's time to upgrade our schools and they've been very supportive, as has the city of Moscow," said Kleinert.

Moscow's School Board will officially decide on whether they'll put a bond or levy on the ballot on February 26, voters in the school district will go to the polls on May 21.
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