BY ANTONIO JAURIGUE
When I arrived in Los Alamos 9 years ago, I was pretty quickly approached by my son’s teachers asking me if I could volunteer in their classes. I was fortunate enough to be on shiftwork (if you can call that fortunate), which allowed me some days midweek where I could help. It wasn’t long before it became a habit for me to go help with an assignment or two for an hour a week. I was also encouraged and motivated by all of the other parent volunteers I saw. Not just in the classroom, but throughout the entire school. I’ve seen our community mobilize for fundraisers, different activities, or games that the schools put on.
I loved volunteering, helping, and just interacting with the wonderful people in our schools so much that I decided to help represent my district on the schoolboard. Since being elected to represent District 2 on the School Board, I have been able to see that the support for our school district dwarfs my experience. Parents are active advocates for their children, the staff is continuously doing their best to protect and teach the students, while consistently finding innovative ways to strive to reach 100% of them. The community members without current students still demonstrate interest in helping our district by donating to local organizations like the LAPS Foundation and supporting the local fundraisers like the community yard sales, chocolate sales, or Fun Runs put on by PTO.
I’m writing this now because this election season, there is another way to demonstrate how seriously our community supports our school district and the institution of education. The General Obligation Bond (GO Bond) is on the ballot this year and approving it will authorize the future sale of $30 million dollars of bonds for our district. This means that the district can safely complete the full rebuild of Chamisa Elementary and Piñon Elementary schools. These two schools are now the oldest schools in the district and the cost of maintenance is quickly outpacing the available funding. With roof leaks, inadequate climate control, and various plumbing and structural issues, the rebuilds are not something that can be delayed further.
Some key points to consider:
- Although past bonds have allowed for the purchase and support of other student needs and academic materials such as Chromebooks for every student, the GO Bond is specifically limited to brick-and-mortar type projects. The new builds previously mentioned, classroom renovations, emergency repairs, future school building projects/improvement, landscaping or playground equipment, or even air conditioning (which some classrooms desperately need replaced) are just a few examples.
- Voting to continue this bond will NOT result in a tax increase for the residents of Los Alamos. The community has been gracious in their support and continuation of the bond for the last couple of decades. This has helped to maintain facilities when the state budget has not been able to meet the demands.
- Despite getting excellent scores on the state’s assessment of our maintenance record and the condition of our facilities, they are reaching the age where maintenance is costing more and more.
Early voting begins October 10th with election day on November 7th. This election, look for the GO Bond on your ballot, either in person at your polling location, or by your requested mail-in ballot, and continue to support our district by voting in support of the bond. This will ensure the continued success of our district and help in reaching our goal of 100% student success.