BY SUZANNE LYNNE
Former Teacher and Principal
Los Alamos Public Schools
It is bond election time again. In a strange way, it is an exciting time. It makes us think about how much we value education in Los Alamos. It makes us appreciate that the government left us a town with schools, roads, shops and great amenities. But that was in 1969. Now it falls to us to maintain our amazing town. The bond is the only mechanism we have to raise taxes to pay for the building and repairing of our schools. Many other communities across the country can raise their taxes to pay for their schools. Not in New Mexico. Schools are funded through a formula that seeks to equalize the amount of money each district receives. Here is an excerpt from the state statute:
New Mexico Statutes 22-8-25
The state equalization guarantee distribution is that amount of money distributed to each school district to ensure that the school district’s operating revenue, including its local and federal revenues as defined in this section, is at least equal to the school district’s program cost.
By voting for the bond, we don’t raise our current tax amount, but we do raise enough money to get state matching funds to repair and rebuild our aging school buildings. The new Pinon School has already started going up, but Chamisa will not be started until we pass our bond. The state wants to see that we value this process enough to put our money in the mix too.
So, make sure you are registered to vote. We can’t assume this important bond will pass. We must go and vote yes for it.
Here’s to Los Alamos!