Supporters rally for $500 million bond to fix Tacoma schools

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TACOMA, Wash. - Supporters held a community rally Saturday for a half-billion dollar school bond measure in Tacoma, which they say it is crucial to replace crumbling schools.

 

The supporters plan to be visible for the next few weeks hoping voters say “yes” to Proposition 1.

 

Proposition 1 is a $500 million bond that would pay for replacing or modernizing 14 deteriorating schools.

 

The money will also pay for safety and health upgrades around the Tacoma Public Schools.

 

The principal at Grant Elementary told KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Graham Johnson one of the buildings at the school needed to be replaced and students are crammed into portable classrooms.

 

“They tend to continue to leak, so we have a water fountain that the water’s been turned off because it continues to leak. We have buckets that catch water,” said Principal Jennifer Cooper. “We’ve continued to put Band-Aids on it, and we’re at the point where we need a new building.”

 

Tacoma voters rejected major school bond proposals in 2006 and 2009.

 

The last major bond that passed was in 2001.

 

Proposition 1 needs 60 percent “yes” votes to pass on Feb. 12.

 

Supporters say over the long term the cost in taxes for the average homeowner would be about $58 a year. They also said they want to take advantage of low financing and construction costs by passing the bond.