Fresh ideas: Look at bigger picture on school bond
October 16, 2002
“A yes vote on Question CC2 is of extreme importance to the school district and to everyone who cares about our community’s children. Any other fiscal solution would deplete the capital project funds for every school and possibly require rezoning throughout the district.”
Dr. Mary Pierczynski, Superintendent
Why should the Carson City School District need money again, after just being funded by the year 2000 school bond?
The answer is toxic mold, an unwelcome and unexpected guest. It was found in late 2001, in 90 percent of classroom walls in five modular buildings at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School. Being discovered so recently, this problem is incurable unless every school’s capital project fund is depleted to pay for the cure. The current state school funding structure simply doesn’t provide for a situation like this.
A fellow columnist, Abby Johnson, has ably set out many details of this bond issue in her column of Oct. 9. As she explained, a “yes” vote will greatly enhance classroom space and further assure the safety and security of our children. It will replace toxic mold-infested modular space with a permanent addition that consolidates the Bordewich campus.
It will consolidate Special Education Services (needed by more than 14 percent of our students). It will remodel Seeliger and Bray Elementary Schools, creating extra classroom space and consolidating the student support services office at Bray.
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The price tag for the bond is $3.75 million. Heavens! How much will all this cost the taxpayer? Nothing! This is a “tax continuation” bond, which simply continues the current property tax rate of $.47 for an additional year before declining.
During the 20-year life of the bond, the average homeowner will pay about $237, or $11.30 a year — the same as we pay now, except for one additional year! Accountability to taxpayers will be assured by the creation of a “bond oversight committee” composed of interested citizens.
Some in Carson City may believe that because their own children are grown they have no current obligation to support schools. Perhaps they are retired and feel it’s time to pass the burden on to others. Those who never had children in the schools may feel its not their obligation at all.
Yet, such an attitude ill serves our children, our community and these very people themselves. Those whose children are out of school must support schools for the benefit of their children’s children. Those without children directly involved might think of the larger picture and the importance of developing a well-educated work force and enlightened citizenry.
Not only will these kids later pay into the social security program that helps support many of us, but they will be the keepers of our future. It is they who will continue our values, customs and traditions. And they who will keep the special values that distinguish us as a freedom-loving people.
Carson City is struggling to bring its education program and facilities up to the high academic standards needed in our modern world. Vote “Yes” on Question CC 2. The pain of doing so is non-existent, and the benefits will rain down on us all.
Susan Paslov is a retired attorney who teaches English as a Second Language.
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