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Letter: IA Leg. should extend school infrastructure support
-- Matt Coen, Des Moines, Des Moines Register

Iowa: March 19, 2017 -- The board of the Des Moines West Side Chamber of Commerce voted in its March meeting to support House File 230, which would extend the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) program, currently scheduled to sunset in 2029. This act was formerly known as the Local Option Sales and Services Tax for school infrastructure. We believe continued and sustained investment in our public school infrastructure is critical for the future of our community. In addition to educating our future leaders and workforce, there is a direct correlation between the most sought after schools and the most sought after neighborhoods. To put it simply, great schools fuel great communities. Since its adoption, Des Moines Public Schools has demonstrated responsible and effective use of its SAVE money. The district’s nearly 33,000 students are educated in 72 buildings that are an average of 65 years old. Despite these staggering enrollment numbers and aging facilities, the district has modernized its facilities to deliver quality education. New mechanical systems and window and door replacement have earned the district accolades for energy efficiency. In addition, improved safety and expanded Career Tech programs have been made possible through SAVE revenue.

Mt. Juliet Elementary School to close Monday due to fire
-- Ivan Aronin and Holly Fletcher , The Tennessean

Tennessee: March 19, 2017 -- An intense but brief fire caused by a malfunctioning heating/air conditioning unit caused significant smoke and water damage to a second-grade classroom at Mt. Juliet Elementary School on Sunday morning. The Wilson County School District said the school will be closed on Monday to allow teachers and staff to clean up from the fire.

School sales tax returns to ballot
-- Jason White, AdVantage News

Illinois: March 19, 2017 -- After six years, a school funding sales tax proposition is back on the ballot in Madison County — and educators are making their case to voters to avoid another defeat. In the April 2011 consolidated election, 80 percent of the county’s voters rejected a 1 percent sales tax for school facilities. Madison County Regional Superintendent Robert Daiber, who led the effort the first time, attributes the defeat partially to voters’ misconceptions. “It was looked at as I wanted this because I was getting the m - See more at:

Voters Approve Financing for Middle School
-- Margo Sullivan, Patch Media

Rhode Island: March 19, 2017 -- BARRINGTON, RI—The middle school building's problems were in the spotlight this week, as classes did not resume right after Winter Storm Stella. Roof leaks caused the district to close the school for Wednesday and for Thursday. But Thursday night, as scheduled, the Town came out to vote at Special Financial Town Meeting and approved the financing for a new school. According to the district, the measure passed by 590-349.

School projects push forward, despite debate, delays
-- JESSICA FULLER, Johnson City Press

Tennessee: March 18, 2017 -- This year proved to have some hurdles for three Washington County school projects, but amid some setbacks and delays, plans for the projects keep pushing forward. The three projects, which were spurred to alleviate overcrowding and aging buildings, are guided by the new leadership of the schools, as Director of Schools Kimber Halliburton accepted the position after the previous director retired in the summer.