Portland School District Bond Measure (November 2012)

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A Portland School District Bond Measure was on the November 6, 2012 ballot in the Portland school district, which is in Clackamas and Multnomah Counties, where it was approved.

This measure sought to issue a bond in the amount of $482 million in order to help pay for three new high schools in the district as well as general improvement and renovation projects as needed. If approved, a levy addition of $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed value would be implemented in the district to pay for the bond. A similar measure was defeated in May 2011 but school officials are more hopeful this time because they sought out community input before presenting the proposed bond.[1]

Election results

Portland School District Bond Measure 144
Approveda Yes 152,136 66.05%

Election results from Clackamas County, Current Election Results and Multnomah County Election Department, Current Election Results

Text of measure

Language on the ballot:

Is Portland Public School District authorized to issue up to $482 million of general obligation bonds to improve schools? If the bonds are approved, they will be payable from taxes on property or property ownership that are not subject to the limits of sections 11 and 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.[2][3]


The group Our Portland, Our Schools has been formed to serve as a watchdog group ensuring that if the bond is approved, the money is used for its intended purposes. The group supports the measure because the school sought input from residents and the schools do need renovations and upgrades to ensure student safety.[4]


Those opposed to the bond have criticized the scope of the bond, saying that it would create further inequality in the schools of the district by not funding upgrades for more low performing schools. Critics have also noted that adding further tax burdens to residents is not helpful when budgets are tight already.[5]


  • The Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall Research of Portland group did a recent poll to gauge if residents would support the school bond this time around. The first round of polling showed slightly higher support, but then that dropped as residents heard more information on the financial burden of the bond.[6]
Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
April 14-17, 2012 Davis, Hibbitts and Midghall Research of Portland 56% 38% 6% 600

Campaign contributions

The Portland school district has decided to cap donations for the bond measure at $1,000 for firms which could benefit from the possible construction project. During the May 2011 election, when a previous bond was attempted, some opponents noted that large contributions were made from construction and design firms. This time, the school district does not want to have a conflict of interest with these groups so they decided to cap contributions. So far, the proponents group has raised $3,125 for their campaign.[7]

Additional reading