I agreed to be part of the “yes” on Measure O committee for many reasons. After 16 years of sitting on the local school board, I understand how we are restricted by our funding. I have grandchildren attending district schools and I intend to stay in this community and believe the quality of our schools directly impacts the value of my home. If you have ever been through an area with rundown schools, fences down or torn, old wooden portables, lack of general maintenance, you understand how that affects the value of properties within the school district.
Measure O funds are taxes that are paid locally and used locally. Our Basin board of Realtors is endorsing Measure O because they know how the value of well-maintained schools affects local real estate values. One of the first questions asked of realtors when a new family moves into town is, “Tell us about the schools.”
Unfortunately, schools do not receive funding for facilities and the state does not give funds to districts that have not passed a local bond measure.
Lottery money cannot be used for facilities. This needs to be changed at the state level, but should we let our schools stay in need of updating and our technology get outdated while we wait for the system to get fixed?
Measure O will not only provide funds to modernize our schools, but will also provide the needed safety and security measures that are so important.
If we pass Measure O, we are eligible for $36 million in matching funds from the state.
Measure O money cannot be used for salaries or programs, but it can be used for technology and science labs and allow us to give our students the best there is in education today — new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) labs.
The money and the projects are closely monitored by an oversight committee composed of local citizens.
Does it really matter if our students keep their knowledge in our community, or take it into other parts of the world? Don’t we want to give them the best possible start we can?
I would like to cite just one example of safety that is included in the list of Measure O projects: total lockdown of classrooms at the press of one button, $3 million. I want that for my grandchildren and I know there isn’t an extra $3 million in the budget.
Replace aging portables, adding new classrooms, intrusion cameras, new computer labs, better parent pickup areas, replacing aging roofs and old air conditioning and shade structures, every school will be brought up to modern standards with added safety and security.
You can see the improvements planned for every school by going to www.tinyurl.com/MUSDplan, or for all the details of Measure O and all that was accomplished with the last bond measure funds, go to www.morongousd.com.
The best education we can provide our students in the safest, most up-to-date facilities is what we will be getting if we pass this very important bond measure.
Every student — every school. Please join me in voting “yes” on Measure O.