VOTE “FOR” OUR SCHOOLS

Collapsing roofs, outdated technology, students ready to learn a trade without the tools to do so, music classes with fewer instruments than students, antiquated security measures, children suffering the sweltering August heat without air conditioning: these are but a few of the woes that plague our educators and students across the APS District. They all share the same remedy: voting “FOR” the two Bond/Mill Levy questions. These are the types of urgent, basic repairs that our public schools can accomplish with help of Bernalillo County and Corrales voters.

You don’t have to be a genius to answer the Bond/Mill Levy questions correctly. You don’t even need to study for the quiz. It’s simple. Question 1 asks voters to continue the current Public Schools Capital Improvements Mill Levy of $2 tax for every $1,000 of taxable value on property. Question 2 asks voters if it’s okay to release money that has already been collected: Releasing these funds will mean NO Tax Increase!

 To be clear: Question 1 asks us to continue with the current mill levy built into our existing property taxes. Question 2 releases money that’s already been collected so we can use it.

Vote “For” Our Schools.Teachers need access to printed and copied materials to carry out their lesson plans and $1.5 million from the Bond/Mill Levy monies will be devoted to these needs. $28 million of these monies will update technology needs in our schools. This is key to providing a 21stcentury education. Schools will get a say in what technology infrastructure improvements they need. $1.8 million is earmarked for hands-on science equipment. Furthermore, the current Capital Outlay Plan will provide $1 million for the purchase of equipment and tools for students who are participating in Career and Technical Education programs (formerly called vocational education). We know that many students have career interests that do not necessarily require a college diploma. We can help these students build solid foundations for rewarding and high-paying careers in a variety of trades by simply releasing the tax money we already pay.

Jobs, jobs, jobs! APS construction and renovation projects are an investment in our community. Passing the APS Bond/Mill Levy will create hundreds of local jobs in the construction trades. In fact, over the last 8 years, 60%-73% of the commercial building permits issued in the greater metro area have been for projects funded by Bond/Mill Levy votes approved in the past (according to CMP, City of ABQ, and Bernalillo County zoning).

We have the opportunity to create our own economic stimulus right here in Bernalillo County. Answering “For” on two simple questions will infuse our local economy with over $104 million of maintenance and renovation jobs over the next 6 years. Over $96 million will be released to upgrade schools built over 40 years ago. Long overdue renovations will take place at Lavaland ES, Navajo ES, Janet Kahn ES, Monte Vista ES, Jackson MS, and Rio Grande HS. $18 million will be invested in transportation updates in the East Mountains, South Valley, and the Westside.

School maintenance is of the utmost importance to our students’ health. Construction jobs created by the passage of these measures will allow us to fix leaking roofs, repair air conditioning, and replace ancient water pipes that threaten our students with high lead levels. The money will pay for basic necessities like extermination services to combat vermin in our buildings. We will have $10 million to ensure that our schools are accessible to all learners as we strive to make all buildings wheelchair accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). $4.5 million will be spent on up-to-date security systems like swipers that will limit access to our campuses to those who potentially intend harm to our students.

We know that well-balanced education is not only about the 3 R’s. We need to educate the whole child. That’s why the new Capital Outlay Plan calls for a $7.3 million investment in Music and Fine Arts Education so that students are well-rounded citizens who can use the arts to enhance the quality of their lives. A $4.8 million investment in new PE equipment will help to keep our youth healthy by building exercise and diet habits. Our sports programs will benefit from $3 million of spending on turf for our soccer, baseball, and football fields. Providing students these after school opportunities helps them make informed and healthy choices. The purchase of turf will decrease energy and water demands at our schools, saving money and our environment in the long run. Capital funds are also used to replenish our school libraries with new books.

Share these talking points with your friends, family, colleagues and community. You also have the opportunity to voice your opinions publicly as APS will hold Open House Conversations across the city to discuss the Bond/Mill Levy and other important issues at Harrison Middle School September 30th 5:30-7pm, and James Monroe Middle School October 7th 5:30-7pm. Come out and join the discussion.

Voting has never been easier with Absentee Voting beginning October 8th. Early Voting runs from October 19th until November 2nd and Election Day is November 5th. Bernco.gov has posted a complete listing of voting sites and the complete ballot questions.

For more information, visit the Bond/Mill Levy Election (APS Capital Master Plan) page.