Sisters set to vote on renewing school levy

Measure has been approved three times in past

Sisters to vote on extension of current school levy

SISTERS, Ore. - Voters in Sisters soon will be deciding the fate of the Sisters School District when they vote on a five-year extension of the current levy.

The district says the levy provides about 9 percent of the their operating resources, that includes things like teachers, electives and programs like the arts.

"The local option has been on the books since 2000," school board member Kay Grady said.

Grady says the levy is set to expire in June of this year, and the board wants to extend it. She told NewsChannel 21 Thursday night the district has been able to offer programs and classes to better prepare students for college and the real world.

"If you can't offer all those things in class and you have to go literally back to basics, it's not fundamentally what we as a community or definitely what the school board wants to do," said Grady.

The district is asking voters to maintain the current rate of 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. That means the average homeowner in Sisters with a house worth $172,000 would continue to pay $129 per year.

Winter Lewis, the co-chair of the Keeping Sisters Strong committee, says the community has been very supportive of their efforts.

"That's been the best part of this campaign is the community support," Lewis said.

The same measure has passed in 2000, 2004 and 2009. For the current campaign, nearly 50 volunteers have reached out to 3,000 voters.

One challenge is getting the community to care enough to vote, especially since it's the only item on the ballot. The district has to get 50 percent voter turnout, and then more than 50 percent to say yes.

Ballots will go in the mail Friday, and the ballots will be counted on March 12.

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