The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., March 27, 1925, page 1


     In order that the public may be properly informed on the various details connected with the union high school project, the following information has been prepared:
     The proposition before the electors at the election on Friday April 3 will be: Shall a Union High school district be formed of the seven local school districts, including Frankton, Barrett, Hood River, Pine Grove, Oak Grove, Viento and Wyeth. The election will be held at the various school houses from 1 to 7 p.m.
     Who may vote? All citizens of legal age who are entitled to vote for sheriff may vote in this election. No property qualifications are necessary. Simply citizens of the state for six months and of the school district for 30 days.
     At the same election of five members of the school board to control of the affairs of the proposed Union High School District will be elected from the entire district at large, providing, however, that no two directors may be elected from the same local district. Every voter, therefore, should go to the polls and vote for or against the Union high School proposition. And he should be sure to vote also for five school directors, no two from the same local district, regardless of whether he votes for or against the high school proposition. If the proposition carries, then the voter will have helped select the directors. If the proposition fails, the directors will not function.
     The chief reasons why the Union high school district is necessary, according to the promoters of the project, are that the districts that furnish high school pupils should furnish and maintain a high school for them. The present high school of School District No. 3 is inadequate in both rooms and equipment. It is already 25 percent overcrowded. It is thought neither economical nor desirable to make further additions to the present high school building. School District No. 3 has been furnishing the capital investment for 150 high school pupils who do not belong to this district. It is true that there is a county high school tuition fund which pays most of the instruction expenses of these outside pupils, but it does not cover capital investment, interest on bonds, depreciation or transportation. Neither does it pay tuition for the days when these pupils are absent, for which time School District No. 3 must stand the entire overhead expense.
     The assessed valuation of these seven districts is over seven million dollars. An annual tax levy of five and one-half mills will bring in $37,500, which will be sufficient to run the union high school and pay the annual interest on the indebtedness incurred in building it. Another mill levied annually, making a total of 6½ mills, will establish the sinking fund for the redemption of bonds or other indebtedness.
     The taxpayers of School District No. 3 are paying this year nineteen mills tax for all school purposes, of which six and one-half or seven mills are for the local high school alone. When the new Union High district is formed and a high school operated by said district, the school tax in School District No. 3 will not be increased as some would believe; but it may actually be reduced because of our share of the tax for the new union high school will be less than the present high school tax. Therefore, without increasing the school taxes in School District No. 3 the pupils of this district along with the pupils of other districts will be provided with a modern, adequate and thoroughly equipped high school.
     It is true that nearly half the assessed valuation of the proposed district lies in School District No. 3; but it is equally true that at the present time more than half the total number of high school pupils for this new Union High School district will come from School District No. 3. Such an arrangement, therefore, is just about as equitable and just as it is possible to make it. In some of the other districts also, the actual cost under the proposed Union high school plan will be no more than it is under the present system, where they must provide transportation for their high schools pupils. In some of the districts the cost will be greater by a mill or so, but the advantages to be obtained for their pupils will be far greater also, state those who are in favor of the project.
     Voters may bear in mind that this election on April 3 does not incur any indebtedness whatsoever. It simply organizes a Union High school district.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer