School board, Ali, back $70 million plan to upgrade Portland elementary schools

Four of Portland’s elementary schools are in such bad shape that the school board agreed Tuesday to ask the City Council to propose a $70 million bond to voters in November to pay for improvements.

“Asking for $70 million, yes, it’s a lot to ask for,” said board member Sarah Thompson. “We owe it, I think, to our next generation of Portlanders to have state-of-the-art facilities.”

The board plans a first reading on the proposed recommendation June 7, then hold another public hearing and final vote on June 21. The City Council will decide whether to put the bond on the ballot.

All of the board members spoke in favor of the proposed bond.

“There’s been a lot of deliberation for far too long, and the urgency is great,” said board member John Eder.

“It is time for us as a community to give our children what they deserve,” said Pious Ali.

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