Letter: Proposed school bond on November ballot

Early voting begins on Saturday and the Carson City School District Board of School Trustees would like to take this opportunity to remind the voters of the following:

The Carson City School District is requesting that the voters of Carson City approve a general obligation school building bond in an amount not to exceed $18 million. This proposal will be on the General Election Ballot in November 2000 and if passed will enable the District to make certain improvements to its existing facilities. Passage of this proposal will not increase the current school debt tax and if past experience/trends continue, the tax rate will reduce in accordance with increasing property values and the on-going payment of school debt. The total principal and interest of this proposal is $33.8 million and will be retired no later than the year 2023.

The proceeds from this bond will:

- Create safer schools through the replacement of antiquated and "at maximum" phone systems, replace existing lock and keying systems and create defensible spaces within our schools identifying and controlling access points for the public and students. Fact: Children learn better when the environment in which they are taught is controlled and safe. Proposed Project Cost $3,293,875.00

- Upgrade and replace obsolete, outdated building systems and materials. Fact: 1/3rd (300,000 sq. ft. +/-) of the District's facilities were built in the 1950s. The plumbing and heating systems along with the windows and insulation of these buildings are either obsolete or so old they are inefficient and expensive to operate. Proposed Project Cost $12,228,864.70

- Provide for the maximum potential and benefit of technology in presenting current educational curriculum to the students. Fact: While substantial progress has been made in providing computers in all classrooms, every student requires access to this technology. This bond will provide an "interactive system" by which all students will be able to participate in the daily presentation of the educational curriculum. The portion of the bond proceeds associated with this project will be financed by a "short-term" note and will be repaid within 5 years.

Proposed Project Cost $1,040,000.00

- Provide an equal opportunity for all students to participate in mandated science curriculum. Fact: The State of Nevada is requiring that all high school students pass a Science Proficiency Exam before being allowed to graduate from high school. This requirement begins with the Freshman Class of 2000. Currently the School District does not have sufficient "seats" for all students in grades 6 through 12 to take the required science classes in fully equipped science labs. This bond will provide for these additional science labs.

Proposed Project Cost $1,436,500.00

In closing, the Board of Trustees would like to remind the voter of two important aspects regarding this proposed bond:

1. Current funding sources adequately support the on-going operation and maintenance of the School Districts facilities. However, the School District is unable to fund the large expenditures required to replace antiquated systems and alterations/upgrades required by State regulations. We equate this to a homeowner taking out a second mortgage to complete major home improvements.

2. This bond proposal is not related to the Business Income Tax Initiative proposed by the Nevada State Teachers Association.

JEAN KVAM, president

Board of Trustees


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