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Fri, Feb. 21

Editorial: HUSD needs, deserves voters’ support

As noted in last week’s Prescott Valley Tribune, Prescott News Network announced its endorsements and recommendations for partisan races and ballot measures for the General Election. Saving the best for last, today we urge approval of the local school district bond question.

Humboldt Unified School District is asking for voters to approve issuance of bonds to raise $15 million for improvements to school safety and security; student transportation; technology improvements; and classroom repairs and renovations, which include roofs, heating, air conditioning and furniture.

To be clear, this deserves a “yes” vote.

The issue of education has played a prominent role in politics this year. From the #RedforEd movement to the need for better and competitive salaries for teachers, few times before now register as more needy when it comes to educating our children.

The HUSD is entrusted with more than 5,700 students at its 10 schools. It and its leaders continue to strive to do the very best for these future leaders. And it performs well, surpassing the state averages, in student achievement, and operational and transportation efficiency.

For the bonds, which are loans to the school district, HUSD would purchase capital items and make capital improvements — some of which have been waiting for a decade because of cuts from the state.

Those cuts have been to building renewal and capital funds and have resulted in reductions totaling more than $18 million during that time period, District Superintendent Dan Streeter reports. Bond funding is a mechanism to begin to restore, repair and refurbish existing facilities.

The school board and HUSD leadership also see the need to improve school safety and security, as identified in a recent study — in the wake of school shootings across the country.

The bond will cost the average homeowner about $1.95 per month based on a home assessed at $100,000. More recent projections (past three years) show these numbers to be about 18 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, or $1.50 per month based on a home assessed at $100,000, Streeter said.

We do not want the district to have to use educational operations funds for essential and emergency facility expenses. Should the bond fail, the result could be reductions in personnel, increased class sizes, possible reduction or elimination of extracurricular programs, and reduced supplies at school, Streeter stated in a column.

We urge voters to complete their early ballots and return them to the drop-off boxes or to a voting center on or before Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

For more information, visit www.dCourier.com/news/elections.

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