Guest Column: Votes ‘yes’ on measures E and U | SierraSun.com

Guest Column: Votes ‘yes’ on measures E and U

Syd Earley and Laura Mohun

As chairs of the Measure E and U campaign committee, we urge you to vote yes on Measure E (Lakeside voters) and Measure U (Truckee voters).

Measures E and U, our local school bond measures, are an important pledge for our communities that will greatly improve our Lakeside and Truckee schools. It will help student academic performance along with ensuring our property values.

If you believe that strong schools and strong communities go hand in hand, please Vote Yes on E and U and pass these worthy bond measures on November 4.

Measure E will refurbish and rebuild our Lakeside schools. Tahoe Lake was built around 1930 and Kings Beach twenty years later in 1950. These schools have done their job well by providing such a great start to so many young children in our community. Tahoe Lake was recently given the honor of being named a Distinguished School and Kings Beach houses an exceptional Two Way Immersion Program.

After 60 years, these schools have deteriorated beyond new paint and a quick remodel. They need new roofs, efficient heat and air conditioning, plumbing, new classrooms, infrastructure for the technology needs for 21st century learning and emergency communications.

Measure U will also replace ventilation systems, heat systems and build 21st century computer and science labs to prepare our students for college and careers. Glenshire Elementary was just named a California Distinguished School; Sierra High was named a California Model Continuation High School. Truckee Elementary was recently named a Title 1 High Academic Achievement School with an impressive single year gain of 20 points in its Academic Performance Index.

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During the King Fire, our Truckee High students had to stay home from back to school night because aging ventilation systems couldn't protect them, while students at newer schools could continue to attend classes. The schools most affected by the smoke are Kings Beach Elementary, Tahoe Lake School, Truckee High School and Truckee Elementary. All schools built over 50 years ago and they have out dated ventilation systems.

Truckee has passed two bond measures since 1992, the last one in 1999. We have not put money into our school facilities for over 15 years. The Lakeside has passed three bond measures since 1992, the last one was passed in 2002. Therefore, it's been 12 years since money went to facilities at the Lakeside schools.

Due to other state budget priorities, educating our populace has become a public responsibility, a local obligation. The funds from these measures will go directly to our TTUSD schools and cannot be taken by the state. If state or grant funding or matching funds do become available, then the money would go toward reducing the cost of the Measure E and U bonds, respectively.

Many of us do not want to pay more taxes, but bond measures are overdue for the Truckee and Lakeside schools. These bonds will go a long way toward Upgrading Truckee and Lakeside schools. Our local communities have a long proven history of supporting and believing in our local schools and Measure E and U have a wide collection of supporters including teachers, parents, local business and community leaders.

Measures E and U are important to our communities and make sense because it is local funds — locally raised, locally spent and locally controlled. Vote Yes on E for "Excellent" Lake Side schools and Yes on U to "Upgrade" Truckee Schools.

Laura Mohun and Syd Earley are chairs of the Measure E and U campaign committee, and are local parents, home owners and business owners. Visit upgradetruckeeschools.org and excellentlakesideschools.org to learn more.