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My husband and I came to Los Alamos over 36 years ago. One of the reasons we chose to come here was the outstanding reputation of the Los Alamos School system. Since then we have raised three children, who all attended and graduated from Los Alamos Public Schools and I had the privilege of serving for twelve years on the School Board. We are now empty nesters who continue to support the schools and advocate for children.
I want to encourage the community to vote “yes” in the schools’ bond election this month. All of you who live in older homes know how much more work and expense is required to maintain them than a newer house. I know that in our household we now spend much more per year on repairs and maintenance on our home than we did 30 years ago when it was new.
The same is true for our schools. The older they are, not only do the facilities become more out of date, but more and more maintenance expense is required to keep the buildings livable for our students and staff.
The more money expended from the operating budget for maintenance, the less money is available for teachers, support staff and programs. Because of New Mexico State law local districts are not permitted to increase the operating budget (i.e.: the dollars that pay for salaries, books, supplies, programs and routine maintenance). One of the few ways the residents of Los Alamos can support our local schools monetarily is through bond elections.
When I served on the school board citizens often told me they would be happy to support increased revenue to go to salaries, supplies and programs. My response was always that the way to do that was to support bond elections, because the less money spent from the operating budget on maintenance, major repairs, required ADA accommodations, etc., the more money is available for salaries and supplies.
There are many reasons to support the bond election – pride in the schools and our community, the need to have outstanding schools to support recruitment and retention at LANL, support for the youth in our community – but the best reason is that it makes it possible to spend our operating money more effectively on the staff and programs, where it should be spent.
Please vote “Yes” when you receive your ballot in the mail.