5A Bond Passes

Lee Brunsting, Editor

In the 2022 mid-term election, there was a new act called 5A, which was known as the school funding act. As of this previous week, 5A was passed in Gunnison, CO. This act stands for the funding of school improvements in safety, overcrowding, efficiency, maintenance, and vocational programming. This calls for construction plans which would be put to action in 2023 by the school district and the city. While this issue was controversial due to the fact that it raises taxes for businesses and homeowners, its passing is important and shows great community support for local schools and for the future of Gunnison’s students.

For the improvement of safety in our schools, 5A would introduce adaptations to the entrances in our schools to better meet the evolving school industry safety standards. The improvement in maintenance would include better energy use and consumption, which need upgrades in our local schools to reach HVAC’s standards. This will help contribute to the student body’s comfort in our schools. As for overcrowding, our schools have a consistent growth rate which calls for better long-term solutions. Currently Crested Butte Community Schools are over capacity and use 6 modular classrooms. Improvements to this environment will increase student capacity by 33%. Gunnison Middle School calls for a larger cafeteria and auditorium space; flexible teacher spaces are also needed for both locations. Lastly, vocational programming at the Pathways building would enable the expansion of different careers that are open to students. This means that there would be more education available for certain career paths which would allow students a better chance at obtaining a long lasting job in certain workforces right out of high school. This would directly benefit local businesses, many of whom are experiencing workforce shortages.  

Some arguments for this proposition included: 1. The bond immediately reflected local schools’ needs. 2. Schools must reach safety standards. 3. Vocational programming will better train students for the real world outside of high school. 4. Delaying this bond will eventually cost taxpayers more in the future. 5. New heating in schools will reduce annual operating costs and will improve environmental sustainability. Now for the other side of the argument. People who voted against 5A had the following reasons: 1. This bond being approved would increase property taxes. 2. Commercial property taxes would be 4.1 times higher compared to residential properties. 3. 5A would not be put towards teacher salaries. 4. The cost of  living in Gunnison County is already high. 5. More than half of the valuation in Gunnison County is held by people with out-of-county addresses; they cannot vote on this bond.

 With these reasons and more taken into account, the bond did end up being passed by the citizens of Gunnison County this past week on Tuesday November 8th. I think that this bond passing will help our local schools with safety regulations and over capacity. Yet this bond passing will also have negative side effects to the property owners of Gunnison County because of tax raises. Nevertheless our schools are very grateful for this new opportunity and funding.