WASHINGTON STATE

HOUSE DEMOCRATS

Statement from Rep. Mia Gregerson on the failure of the Highline School District Bond and passing school bonds with a simple majority

Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-33 Aaron Barna
Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-33

“I was greatly saddened to see yet another school construction bond fail this week. The Highline School District’s buildings are overcrowded and in desperate need of repair.

Here are the numbers:

  • 1,500 new students in the last five years, with more coming
  • 60 portable classrooms now in use
  • 232 school construction bonds have gotten more than 50 percent of the vote from 1999 to 2013, yet they all failed because of the supermajority requirement

The current system is broken. Why is 54.6 percent a landslide for a politician, yet a failure for our public schools?

The majority of voters in the Highline School District said yes to a new school construction bond. Yet it won’t happen.

Our children deserve better. Our children are worthy of learning in real classrooms and schools, not converted broom closets and leaky trailers. Real classrooms don’t have wheels.

It’s time for a change. That is why I and large group of my colleagues have introduced new legislation, HB 1941, to allow school bonds to pass on a simple majority in November Elections.

I believe all voters deserve to have their voice heard in our democracy. November Elections have greater turnouts than special elections. And 50 percent plus one is democracy. A simple majority was passed for school levies in 2008. Today, simple majority for bonds makes sense given new mandate to reduce class size.

I look forward to a productive conversation at the public hearing of this bill on Monday, February 16th at 1:30 in the Education Committee. I am confident I can work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this important bill for Washington’s children.”