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Vote Yes on Measure E to upgrade Newhall district

Posted: October 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: October 24, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Election Day is Nov. 8, which is coming up fast. These interim elections traditionally have a low voter turnout, which is sad, as there are some important issues that voters should be weighing in on.

This election is no different, and I would urge you to make a point of getting to your polling place or using your absentee ballot to support Measure E, which will authorize upgrades to a number of Newhall School District school facilities without raising taxes.

That is a very important point: Measure E is designed to upgrade Newhall School District school facilities and maintain the continued great quality of our outstanding elementary (K-6) schools all without raising any tax rates. The Newhall School District has some of the best schools — award-winning Blue Ribbon schools — in the entire Santa Clarita Valley.

Back in 1999, local voters approved the first school bond to modernize the elementary schools serving Newhall, Valencia and Stevenson Ranch. Those school improvement projects have all been completed on schedule and within the project budgets. That is a testament to the superior leadership of Superintendent Marc Winger and the Newhall School District board; they have acted responsibly and professionally in managing and maintaining our local schools.

According to the voter materials, “Measure E will authorize the next level of Newhall School District facility improvements to neighborhood schools, attract and retain the best teachers, and help our elementary children continue to achieve academic success.”

Measure E will allow for the “upgrade of classroom technology and infrastructure” to keep pace with quickly changing and evolving technologies. It will also “add science labs and equipment to enhance science education instruction,” which is an important area for our entire country in order to maintain competitiveness in the future.

It’s important for our schools to keep in front of the technology curve to make sure that our children have the latest tools to increase their success in learning. Having a robust digital backbone at our local schools will allow for the wider use of computers in the classroom setting. Eventually tablet computers will replace textbooks, and elementary schoolchildren will be using them in all their classes. No more 70-pound book bags!
Measure E will also “eliminate debt and improve energy efficiency, and reinvest the savings” back into high-quality instruction.

It will help to “rehabilitate deteriorated roofs, lighting and electrical systems which need regular maintenance, replace aging portable classrooms with permanent buildings, renovate aging auditorium and school multi-purpose rooms for large-group instruction” and community meetings.

Again, it is important to understand that Measure E will not raise taxes. It will only extend current rates that have been previously approved by voters. All of the Measure E funds stay here locally; they will be used solely for the elementary-age children and schools within the Newhall School District, and they are tax-deductible. 

Measure E has built-in safeguards so that no part of these funds can be spent on administrators, only on technology upgrades, new equipment and facility maintenance/upgrades. There is a citizen’s oversight committee and regular audits so that the school leadership is held accountable to where these funds are spend.

We have great schools, and we need to invest in them to continue the competitive edge that our local elementary schools are instilling in our children. As a number of the voter materials have stated, “this is a no-brainer.” It’s good for our schools, our children and our community.

I hope that you’ll join with me and vote yes to support Measure E on Nov. 8. If you would like to read an extended version of this commentary please go to www.westranchbeacon.com

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on a number of boards and councils. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The Signal.

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