Ballot Measure Seeks Property Tax Increase for School Repairs - 8 News NOW

Ballot Measure Seeks Property Tax Increase for School Repairs

Posted: Updated:

LAS VEGAS - Lana D'Apriele has her hands full most mornings with four kids. While their education is a top priority, she's had concerns about whether the Clark County School District is giving her kids the best possible education.

Her kindergartner goes to Eisenberg Elementary School. The school recently lost a teacher, so administrators combined some classes.

"My concern is overcrowding," Lana said. "She is not going to get the attention that she needs."

Lana wanted to know if the Question 2 ballot initiative would help her kids. The ballot measure asks voters if they would support a property tax increase of 21 cents per $100 of property value.. The money would provide more than $600 million to the Clark County School District. Ninety-two percent of the money collected would go toward school renovations. Eight percent would help ease classroom overcrowding.

Learn More About Ballot Question 2

"We have 357 campuses in Clark County, and 222 of those were built in the last 25 years. By and large, those schools are in great shape," Clark County School District Associate Superintendent Joyce Haldeman said. "But, we also have 30 percent of our schools that are 30 years or older, and 28 that are 50 years or older, and those really need attention."

"If you look at the average age of the CCSD (schools), they are only 22 years old," countered Victor Joecks with the Nevada Policy Research Institute, which opposes the measure. "The U.S. average is 50 years. In New York, it's 80. If you needed a new school to learn to read, the entire east coast would be illiterate. Instead, we have excellent facilities, but not the academic achievement we want."

Haldeman explains the money will mainly be used to fix electrical systems, air conditioners and leaks. At the beginning of the school year, several air conditioners malfunctioned at area schools. CCSD officials say they addressed the problems as quickly as they could, but with the budget cuts they have faced in recent years, solutions took longer than normal.

"We've had 600 million in budget cuts over the last four years, and the maintenance department is not immune," Haldeman said.

According to the school district, however, two schools that experienced air conditioning problems – Diskin Elementary and Gragson Elementary – aren't slated to receive the extra money should the ballot measure pass.

That doesn't sit well with Lana. "To fix a few air conditioners, that's not going to require $120 million from the taxpayers each year to fix a few leaks," she said.

CCSD counters that fixing buildings positively affects the learning environment.

"We do need to take care for our aging systems in some of our most vulnerable schools, so our students don't have to worry about having their instruction jeopardized because their air conditioning doesn't work," Haldeman said.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.