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Most bond elections pass as schools seek state matches

Thirteen of 22 Oregon school districts passed local bond measures May 17 in the largest such field since 2008.

Last November, no local districts sought bonds, as they were waiting until this election to take advantage of new matching funds available under the Oregon School Capital Improvement Matching (OSCIM) program.

The 2015 Legislature authorized $125 million in state matching bonds to provide incentives to local school districts seeking approval of capital projects. Seven districts that were approved for the initial matching grants passed their bonds Tuesday: Nyssa, Echo, Adrian, Milton-Freewater, Mapleton, Athena-Weston and Yamhill Carlton.

Among OSBA's legislative priorities in 2015 was finding a statewide solution to pay for school construction and renovation. The resulting legislation created OSCIM.

Betsy Miller-Jones, executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association (OSBA), said she was pleased to see local voters approve bond proposals.

"That is what we had hoped for in asking the state to create added incentives for communities to invest in their schools," she said.

Among two community college bond elections, one (Rogue CC) passed and the other (Mount Hood CC) did not.

A full listing of the election results can be found here.