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PCC deserves support

PCC deserves support

Metro-area voters should maintain their commitment to the value of a great education by approving Measure 26-95, a bond measure that would finance much needed classrooms and improved teaching facilities at increasingly overcrowded Portland Community College.

Investing in education is a good decision even in turbulent economic times.

For more and more local residents, PCC is the supplier of higher education for a better life and employment. This is true for high school graduates, for adults completing additional education and for thousands of workers learning high-paying skills such as welding, nursing, auto mechanics, electronics and emergency medical training.

PCC is also the place where seven out of eight applicants for nursing education are turned away each year because the college can only admit 100 students due to overcrowding.

But even with the crowded conditions, PCC enrollment continues to grow. A year ago, it was up 18 percent. Because of the shortage of classroom space, 10,000 students last fall were placed on a waiting list and 5,000 students were completely turned away when available classes were full.

In these times, getting an education or advanced workforce training makes excellent personal and economic sense for metro-area residents. But for that to occur, the college with three major campuses - including Sylvania next to Lake Oswego - and various educational centers needs to grow.

Adoption of Measure 26-95 would fund the sale of $374 million in bonds to make PCC even more accessible to students.

We do understand citizens in this topsy-turvy, uncertain economic time saying 'whoa, I can't support everything.' We really do. Still, investing in the college is tantamount to investing in the future of our area.

Adoption of the bond measure comes with a price: 32.9 cents per $1,000 property valuation. On a home with an assessed value of $280,000 - the average assessed value throughout the region - the PCC measure would cost less than $8 per month or less than $100 per year.

Approval of this measure is all about making the right investment at the right time. In the Nov. 4 election, vote yes for Ballot Measure 26-95.