School funding measure passes
Measure S passed Tuesday by a wide margin, giving the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District another four years of funding for academic enhancements in the schools.
“I feel it’s a real victory that Measure S passed by a greater percentage this time than in 1989 and 1993,” said Jan Ganong, the co-chair of the Measure S Citizens Advisory Committee.
In semi-official results, Measure S passed by 77.2 percent, easily achieving the two-thirds vote needed to pass the $60 annual parcel tax. Voter turnout within the three-county Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District was 33 percent.
At $48 a year, Measure S passed by 74 percent in 1989 and 76.2 percent in 1993. The tax was increased to $60 this year because student growth has increased 44 percent since 1989. Measure S pays for music, physical education, science and computer programs, as well as counseling, libraries, vocational education and additional academic courses.
North Tahoe Middle School Principal John Neary said Measure S funding is so crucial to the school that he questioned whether he would have stayed if the school tax had failed.
“I had my resume polished and ready had it not passed,” Neary said. “What would it have been like without a music program? That a middle school could operate without a full-time counselor is scary. It can’t happen. A school without a library shut down would have been a tragedy.”
The Measure S campaign was able to overcome public concern over the school district’s use of Measure S carryover money to maintain its district reserve. After the Measure S Citizens Review Committee demanded that the $339,667 in carryover money be released, the school district was able to get permission from the Placer County Office of Education to lower its reserve level and release the Measure S funds.
Citizens Committee Co-chair Karla Peterson said she believes the carryover incident may have resulted in some no votes for Measure S, but that the community kept the issue in perspective and voted to help their children’s education.
“I’ve always believed that we need to give the kids in our commun ity the best education we can and I really appreciate all the voters and community members for their support of our children and our schools,” Peterson said. “Our community has really pulled together on this issue and I never cease to appreciate everyone’s support.”
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