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No-Interest Bond Ok'd For Schools

DALLAS -- If voters approve Dallas School District's maintenance bond in November, they will get more bang for their buck thanks to a federal stimulus program.

DALLAS -- If voters approve Dallas School District's maintenance bond in November, they will get more bang for their buck thanks to a federal stimulus program.

Called the Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB), the program allows districts to issue interest-free bonds. The district applied for the program in August and received word last week it had been approved.

The QSCB is not a grant program and voters still must approve the bond before the district can use the program. Bonding through QSCB could save the district around $1.2 million, Superintendent Christy Perry said. That money would be used for additional maintenance projects.

With the program, tax payers would be responsible for paying back only the principle balance, $8.6 million in Dallas' case.

In lieu of the district paying back interest, the program gives bond investors a tax credit. About $113 million is available for 2009 in Oregon and a similar amount is expected to be allocated in 2010.

To qualify, bonds have to be paying for construction or repair of public schools, buying land to build a school on, or for equipment used in a public school facility.

The district will use the money for repair and maintenance of building and equipment used in the buildings if voters approve the bond during the November election.

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