The Board of Directors of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of it's local business membership, has unanimously voted to endorse and support passage of the Carson City School District Bond 2000, demonstrating again that the business community supports quality education and educational needs.
In considering the $18 million bond, the Chamber board cited several reasons for their support of the school district's request.
The bond proposal appears to be a limited request from the school district for necessary actions. Funds will be used to renovate, upgrade, or replace obsolete systems or facilities such as cooling and heating systems, electrical and mechanical systems, bathrooms, etc. These improvements should increase operating efficiency and provide a more hospitable environment for students.
Funds will be used to improve school safety by retrofitting or installing new lock and key systems, phone/intercom systems, and improving vehicle and pedestrian traffic patterns. Unfortunately, the need for increased safety features has gained greater significance in recent years and these improvements should be implemented as soon as possible to provide greater safety for students and their teachers.
Funding will also be used to expand and add additional chemistry, biology and science labs at the high school and middle school level. In view of the lagging performance of American students nationally, increased efforts in science and math curriculums is critical.
Passage of this school bond will not increase property taxes for school debt and will remain at their current rate.
It is also important to point out that this school bond request has no connection with the business income tax being proposed by the state teachers union. The union's backdoor income tax proposal would not preclude local school districts from continuing to need local bond proposals for maintenance, equipment upgrades, or construction of new facilities. The quarter billion dollars proposed to be raised by the union tax could not be used for these purposes, and local taxpaying citizens and businesses will still have to consider school bonds for their local school needs.
The Chamber and its business members have shown consistent support for our school districts needs over the years. The Chamber has supported the majority of the bond requests submitted by the district. Next to parents, business probably cares more about quality education than any other group. Business relies on a quality educational system to provide a quality trained and educated work force. The Chamber believes that passage of this school bond request is necessary to that quality educational system and urges your support for the bond in November.
Larry Osborne is the executive vice president of the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce.