Measure N Would Stop School Decay

Avery Dotterer, Guest Writer

There is no questioning that education does not receive the funding it needs, especially in public schools like Rio Americano. Imagine what our school district could do with $350 million. Measure N is a bond that would give schools the much needed money for capital improvements.

The money will not be subject to state budget cuts, must be spent in the district and can’t be used for administrators’ salaries. This money will be overseen by a community advisory group including a community business leader, senior citizens organization advocate, taxpayers’ organization member, parent/guardian of a student, and parent/guardian involved in parent-teacher organization. This group will record and report all relevant information to the public annually.

The Board of Education has made many efforts to improve the financial situation of San Juan Unified School District’s schools. The solution to many of our financial problems will be answered with Measure N, which has been unanimously approved for November’s ballot.

Most of the schools in our district are more than 50 years old and include portable classrooms that have accommodated students in overcrowded schools. In addition to the structure of our schools, our air conditioning, heating, and water systems are outdated and must be improved. Measure N will repair our portable classrooms and build permanent structures, install many new technological appliances that will improve the students learning experience, better our heating and AC units and decrease our utility bills. Money could be used to install a new security system for the campus to protect learning equipment and the community’s investment.

Teachers believe that this measure will be beneficial to our school and say that they will be voting yes on Measure N. The newest addition to our science department is Tobias Spencer who is balancing both Physiology and Biology classes. A graduate of UC Davis, Spencer has taught at schools such as Mira Loma, Encina and Carnegie. Spencer transferred from Encina High School to Rio Americano this year and has noticed that much of our lab equipment is outdated in comparison to Encina’s (which receives special Title 1 funding).  The measure will help teachers like Mr. Spencer who are teaching subjects that require better technology and more modernized equipment.

The district must prepare students for the 21st century. This bond will bring our buildings and technology up to 21st-century standards so that our schools can meet that goal.