POLL: Should school bonds be passed by a simple majority or not? 1Rep. Mia Gregerson, who also serves as the appointed Mayor of SeaTac, released a statement this week endorsing a simple majority for school bonds. Currently, a supermajority of 60 percent is required to pass school bonds in the state of Washington. The Highline Public Schools bond on the Feb. 10 ballot is failing with 54.76% approval – a percentage that some think should be enough to pass the bond. A new law – House Bill 1941 (download PDF here) – is being proposed to change this law, and would apply to November elections. Voters would have to approve the revision before it would become law. In addition to Rep. Gregerson, Rep. Tina Orwall (D-Des Moines) and Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-Burien) are also sponsors of the bill, along with over 40 others. A public hearing is scheduled in the House Committee on Education at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 16, with an executive session scheduled for Feb. 19. Here’s Gregerson’s statement:

“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.”
We’re wondering what YOU think – should this law be changed or not? Please take our poll: [poll id=”86″]]]>