Richland School bond faces some opposition - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland School bond faces some opposition

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RICHLAND, Wash. - The Richland School District has proposed a $98-million bond that will go up for a vote next February. 

The District has held several public meetings about the proposal but some parents at Jefferson Elementary School said they're concerned about what's been proposed.

As part of the current bond proposal Jefferson Elementary would be repurposed for HomeLink, a program that involves parents in their child's education. But parents of Jefferson students say their school is a 'specialty school' of sorts and they're hoping to make some amendments to the bond to keep it that way. 

The Richland School District hopes to build at least two new schools with the bond, make some safety improvements and change the way Jefferson Elementary is used.

"We have a very unique socioeconomic demographic at Jefferson Elementary. The staff at Jefferson has gone out of their way. They work over the summer and they have developed their own teaching methods to address the education issues these children present," said concerned parent Miriam Gormley.

"You move them into a larger school, they're out of their community and they're going to get lost in the cracks. That is really our big concern. We want the kids to be taken care of," said another concerned parent Peggy Pilger.

These concerned parents said Jefferson Elementary has the highest percentage of both low income and transitional language students in the district. They believe taking that away would be a "disservice to the entire Richland School District."

"We're concerned that there was a lack of community input. We feel like there are a lot of good ideas that parents and other community members could provide," said Pilger.

"We had open public meetings at least twice a month since March, talking about this and Jefferson was talked about. However, the way they feel is the way they feel. We're going to hold another meeting with them tonight. We want to listen to that community and we want to be partners with them," said Richland School Board president Rick Jansons.

A community meeting was held Thursday night at 6 p.m. School board representatives said amendments to the bond are doable.