Hearing about bills and politics on the news has become commonplace. Almost every day something with politics dominates both the local and national news. Sometimes it’s another round of Republicans versus Democrats, or the latest case that has been taken to the Supreme Court. This type of political news often takes center stage, often pushing other vital political news to the side. Back in November, local elections took place, where voters decide whether or not local bills would pass. One of the more hotly debated ones was school bond measure 4A.
4A was a proposed bond measure that was aimed at providing more funding for School District 51. More specifically, this bond would have gone to rebuilding Grand Junction High School and funding improvements in Central, Palisade, and Fruita Monument High Schools, according to the Daily Sentinel. This bond measure was voted on by Mesa County residents on November 5th, 2019. 53% of the votes were against it, so the bill didn’t pass.
The main reason the bill didn’t pass, according to the Daily Sentinel, is because it would have raised taxes for Mesa County residents. The bond measure would have taxed each household within District 51’s boundary by 80 dollars a year, or 6.67 dollars a month. Some Mesa County residents decided against this tax increase, especially if their household has no children directly affected by District 51.
As students in District 51, we have a unique perspective on this issue. The failure of school bond measure 4A directly affects us and our school. [Add some student quotes about how they feel about the bond].
The single thing that has been most notably affecting us for the last semester has been the construction.
This construction that has engulfed the school since late May 2019 is a result of a similar bond measure, passed in 2017. This bond’s worth was 118.5 million dollars, and went mainly towards an entirely new school for Orchard Mesa Middle School. 5 million of this was designated for repairs for the old and dilapidated building of Grand Junction High School. School bond measure 4A would have gone to improvements on the high schools in the valley, as well as fund a complete rebuild of Grand Junction High School. With the failure of school bond measure 4A, the original 5 million from the 2017 measure will go towards the school.
Measure 4A didn’t pass, but that doesn’t mean our district will immediately collapse. With the current state of Grand Junction High School, more funding will have to come to the district in order to keep that building safe for students. The bond passed in 2017 will continue to help District 51 schools until the community votes on funding again in the future.