Letters to the editor on Measure A | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letters to the editor on Measure A

On Tuesday, our community will go to the polls to vote on Measure A, a facilities improvement bond to upgrade all the schools in the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. Those upgrades are sorely needed, and we need your support.

At the end of my 34-year teaching career, I am grateful to be able to work for this measure that will vastly improve our school district. Twenty-nine of those years teaching have been spent right here in South Lake Tahoe. So, I can tell you from experience that our schools are old and in great need of repair. The middle school is 50 years old, and the newest school in the district, Sierra House Elementary, is 35 years old. The district’s maintenance staff has kept our school facilities open over all these years using their ingenuity and a patchwork approach, but that type of solution simply will not suffice any longer. It is time to invest in our local school system.

The funds provided by Measure A will be used to rebuild and improve our schools’ basic infrastructure: plumbing, electrical, roofing, classrooms, libraries, gyms and cafeterias, and allow us to upgrade our schools’ technology.

In addition to the extensive needs of our schools, there is another urgent reason for passing Measure A: It will allow us to take advantage of at least $15 million in matching funds from the state. If we don’t pass Measure A, we will lose these state funds. We all know the California state budget will be severely strained in the coming years, and this state money simply won’t be available again for a very long time. If we don’t fix our schools now, it may be a generation before we have this opportunity again. Even in good economic times, our state has ranked 46th in our nation in the amount of money it spends on each student.

Measure A is a tremendous chance to acquire the funds necessary to improve these facilities, far beyond the level that state funding would normally provide our public school system. Our students deserve safe, updated facilities.

Please support Measure A .

Steve Hayward

president, South Tahoe Educators Association

No doubt the truth is the first casualty in war and politics. And it has been a long primary season; too long we’ve heard from pots and kettles carrying on. And, of course, we had the local issue of Measure A. In the U.S. mail, our household has received three 9-by-11-inch propaganda pieces from the school district, expensive glossy pieces urging a vote of yes on Measure A. It appears that our school board is just one more political operation that bombards citizens with half-truths and disinformation. So I recently sat down and wrote the following:

On Sophistry

In darkness was born

man’s family tree,

and in its blood

flowed sophistry.

So whether it’s for

right or wrong,

if there’s paid a fee

one can purchase a case for

black is white all can see.

And to increase darkness came TV

with saviors and surrogates

spinning costly sophistry.

All is fair politically

if there’s dough for a fee.

We say we hate a liar

more than a thief

in this golden age of hypocrisy.

We say the truth shall make you free. Truth if we can find someone, anyone who knows the truth and will tell the truth, whatever it may be.

Bill Crawford

South Lake Tahoe

I have been reading about Measure A, the Lake Tahoe Unified School District bond measure, and want to let residents who don’t have children know how important this is to our schools. My daughter attends South Tahoe Middle School, so I have seen the work that needs to be done there. We need to repair leaking roofs and make electrical improvements in classrooms. The aging portables need to be replaced with permanent classrooms. One portable is so old, the roof actually collapsed under the snow.

Measure A provides those improvements and more. It will transform the current music classroom – a woodshop – into a room suitable for young musicians, create a new library and media center that will finally meet state standards, and improve student access to computers and technology.

Let’s make sure our kids have a clean and safe place to learn – support Measure A. It’s not just our responsibility, it’s our future.

Paul Peterson

South Lake Tahoe

As a former teacher and administrator, I strongly oppose Measure A. Our schools must learn to live within their budgets. From past experience, I’ve seen the monetary waste in public schools. Although tax increases were billed as helping the students, in reality they helped the administration. I’ve seen programs for youngsters cut, while the administration became top-heavy.

Oh, yes – in response to William Meadows’ letter, “Can we afford $80 million Measure A?,” when owners’ expenses go up, renters will be affected – with higher rents. Tahoe’s economy also will be affected. More money will not solve public school problems. Please vote no on Measure A.

Juanita Quye

South Lake Tahoe

My husband and I have children in the schools here and are familiar with the sad state of the buildings and facilities in the district. We feel strongly that Measure A is needed to improve our schools for the sake of our children and our community. Schools are at the heart of any real community, and if we want to keep our town vibrant and strong, our schools must also be vibrant and strong. We all know that without good schools, families won’t want to move here, and the families that are here will find it hard to stay. If we want to be more than just a tourist town, we need families living here who feel that their children are receiving the education they need to succeed.

The programs and teachers in our district are great, but our teachers can’t make up for the obsolete technology and rundown, worn-out facilities. Our schools are old and out-of-date, and simply can’t provide the resources our students and teachers need.

We are also homeowners and own a business here in town. We always closely evaluate any financial measure that’s on the ballot. Measure A has strong fiscal accountability requirements, including annual audits and citizens’ oversight, to ensure that every dime stays here in Lake Tahoe and goes to improve our schools. Measure A is needed, and our students deserve it.

Strong schools equals strong community equals strong property values. Vote yes on A!

Cheryl Cannon

South Lake Tahoe

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