Highland School District Bond Failing by 2%

<p>Highland High School</p>

Highland High School

Tara Ogg is a parent of three.

Currently, two of her children are students in the Highland School District.

She recently voted in favor of a bond that would help renovate the schools they attend -- however, that hope is clinging by a thread.

"Without the resources, they're going to fall behind," said Ogg, "And up here at the Highland school system, we need the extra help."

Out of the 14 bond proposals and levy proposals in Yakima County, early returns show the Highland School District as the only proposal failing -- about 2% shy of the 60% supermajority requirement for bonds.

The school district asked voters to vote in favor of an $8.5 million bond -- it would go towards a new technical education building and renovating and expanding Marcus Whitman Elementary, Tieton Intermediate, and Highland High School.

Voters approved bonds in Sunnyside and Naches, the latter receiving about $23 million to construct a new elementary school.

We spoke to the Naches Valley School District, who say their bond failed multiple times in the past before finally being approved this time around.

They say the difference this time is they made sure the public was constantly informed of what they were voting on.

"We were able to get the information out to folks in way that made sense to them, we were able to get a lot of information out in a lot of different ways," said Naches Valley Superintendent Duane Lyons, "I think that helped folks understand the real need."

Ogg says she hopes the last batch of uncounted votes will be enough to send the bond over 60%, or the Highland School District may have to look at similar methods to inform the public.

"The kids are really important and I don't want our community to fall back in what the kids need," said Ogg, "I want to make sure they have the money, the assistance, the help to help them be successful."

We spoke with the Highland School District Superintendent, who says he is remaining "cautiously optimistic" about the voter results.

Meanwhile, in Olympia, lawmakers are considering a measure that would change the amount of votes needed to approve a school bond from 60% of votes to a simple majority, just like levies.