Portland Business Alliance Wants Benson High School in the PPS Bond

The business group is applying pressure to make sure there's a renovation of the city's career and technical high school

The Portland Business Alliance wants Benson High School in the $750 million construction bond that Portland Public Schools expects to send before voters in November.

In a July 13 a letter to the Portland School Board, PBA president and CEO Sandra McDonough writes that the group supports the district's "original plan" to renovate three high schools—but is paying particular attention to Benson.

"We are especially concerned that renovation may be delayed for Benson Polytechnic High School, which is one of Oregon's top-performing schools and the Portland school with the most robust career and technical education offerings," she writes.

The powerful business group hasn't yet taken a stand on the bond, details of which will be decided on as soon as next week's school board meeting.

In addition, McDonough also implied that PBA might not support the bond if the School Board backs the corporate tax hike, known as Measure 97, formerly Initiative Petition 28, or IP-28, which business groups are fiercely opposed to.

"The Alliance's board has adopted a position that our primary focus for the 2016 election will be to support those candidates and ballot measure proponents who clearly and publicly join us in opposing IP-28, which will be so detrimental to Oregon's economy and consumers," McDonough writes.

As WW reported Monday, opponents of Measure 97 have been making other, similar threats to funding of nonprofits who support the measure.

The full letter is here.

Willamette Week

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.