Richland Schools worried bond won't pass

Richland Schools worried bond won't pass »Play Video
RICHLAND, Wash. -- The clock is once again ticking for the Richland School Board. It has 2 months to come up with a new plan for a school bond. The district wants nearly 100 million dollars to overhaul many schools in the district.

Their current plan for the bond isn't winning with homeowners like Kristin White.

"I was blown away, you don't, I didn't think you close schools down," she said.

Jefferson Elementary was the only school set to close down. Current students would be sent across town. The building would be used for the HomeLink program instead.

The PTA here at Jefferson is working hard to make sure their parents are informed. Kristen said the last meeting they held, they saw more parents attend than ever before.

Kristin is also on the PTA board. She says the PTA began fighting to keep Jefferson the minute they heard of the district's plans.

"When we had first started talking with them as concerned parents and the PTA here at Jefferson, they seemed awfully unwilling to bend," she said.

But it has to bend. Richland is concerned getting a super-majority for such a huge bond,without full community support.

The district is forced to consider keeping Jefferson open while still expanding the other elementary schools. That would add 22 classrooms in all to make way for state-funded, all-day kindergarten.

Richland School Board President, Rick Jansons told KEPR, "Some of the options that have been proposed increase the bond amount. We're not looking at those."

Still, the bond won't be reduced if Jefferson stays open. Kristin's PTA group hopes to find a new option that works for everyone.

"I always vote for school bonds without even thinking about it. It would be an awful thing to have to vote against it," she said.

The Richland School District will meet again in three-weeks but will call an emergency meeting if necessary to re-work their plans for the bond.