When the Glendale School Board decided to ask voters to support a bond levy this May, they started with one non-negotiable: the rate must not increase. Any improvements to the infrastructure of the Glendale School District would have to come from the amount of money generated by the $0.47 per $1,000 assessed rate taxpayers had been paying for the past 20 years.

The board had another non-negotiable: above all else, find a way to make our schools safer for our students and staff.

The rate and projects in Measure 10-175 were determined months ago. The board committed to them well before anyone had heard of COVID-19.

On May 19, voters will decide the fate of the Glendale General Obligation Bond Levy. It is a $1.8 million ask, and maintains the current average rate of $0.47 per $1,000 assessed as promised by the board. That works out to less than $4 per month for a home assessed at $100,000. $8 per month for a $200,000 home.

If passed, the Glendale School Bond levy would provide funds for improving: safety and security for students, teachers, and staff; energy efficiency at the high school and elementary campuses; aging HVAC, communications, fire suppression and electrical systems; and the high school gymnasium floor. These improvements are essential. Over the years they have been postponed, deferred, and ignored. When temporary fixes were available, they were patched together to make it through another year. Now, we are asking taxpayers to help us complete the projects that never seem to have the funding.

In addition to being essential, the project list is also rather humble. The actual needs of the district are far greater than $1.8 million. But the school board found the most essential projects and present them to voters in a few days.

A bond levy is a long term investment. It requires long term vision. As we work through the challenges presented to us through the COVID pandemic, it would be easy for people to only see what is directly in front of us. We are asking for our community to look 20 years into the future with us.

We will make it through COVID-19. Glendale will survive. Let’s help our students, our staff, teachers, parents and entire community see that our schools are part of how we will build our future together. For the long term benefit of us all.

David Hanson is the superintendent of the Glendale School District.

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