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Budget Committee Chair Encourages A 'No' Vote On CTE Bond

With just five days left until the May 15 election, the Medford School District's bond measure is facing some opposition.

Posted: May 10, 2018 6:29 PM
Updated: May 10, 2018 6:35 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. -- With just five days left until the May 15 election, the Medford School District's bond measure is facing some opposition. The measure would fund new facilities, classrooms and equipment for Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes at North and South Medford High Schools. 

Kevin Husted, School District Budget Chair, is urging Southern Oregonians not to pass the bond. 

Husted said he does not feel like the district talked about all the options before placing the bond on May's ballot.

"I think CTE is very important, now when we get into how we are going to do it and the way it's got to be done, I was opposed to this because it really didn't seem like we took the time to flesh it out and see what the best strategy was," Husted said. 

If passed, the $25 million bond would increase taxes for homeowners by 12 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property value. For a home that is assessed at $265,000, homeowners would pay about $32 extra per year.

Husted said he doesn't think it is necessary to make taxpayers pay the extra money when students could get more CTE experience by partnering up with Rogue Community College.

"We're talking about building new buildings, RCC already has buildings and not to mention they're already building another one right now so they're already expanding, they're already going through it without the cost of the taxpayers," Husted said. 

He also said it can be tough opposing a school measure.

"If you're not for them then you're against the kids, and that's never something that you like to be labeled as and nobody can label me as that because I work a lot with children in the community," Husted said. 

School Board Member Suzanne Messer said the bond would give more options to students deciding what to do after high school.

"We focus so much on college, college, college, and 60 percent of kids are not graduating college. What are they doing? So we're trying to look back at the high schools and say how can we provide a better opportunity for our students to become the adults and community members we need," Messer said. 

Messer said the need for technical trade workers has been an issue in the Valley for years, and the bond could help. 

"We need all of these jobs within this valley and we're having to bring people in for high-paying jobs that are in high demand here," Messer said. 

Messer also said it would be hard for students to take multiple CTE classes at RCC because the time to take a bus there would cause them to miss classes.

Voters have until 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 to turn in ballots.

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