Questions and Answers

Detailed Q&A for Silver Schools Mail-In Ballot Election

Q1: What is the purpose of the upcoming Mail-In Ballot Election?

A1: The purpose of the upcoming Mail-In Ballot Election is to renew Senate Bill 9 (SB-9) for an additional six years and to approve a $25 million General Obligation (GO) Bond. This funding will support crucial maintenance, technology improvements, and facility upgrades in the Silver Schools District.

Q2: What is Senate Bill 9 (SB-9)?

A2: Senate Bill 9 (SB-9), also known as the Public School Capital Improvements Act, is a 2-mill levy that funds the maintenance of school buildings and other uses. Voter approval provides for a maximum 6-year life of this funding without raising tax rates. Silver Schools uses these funds to maintain our current facilities.

Q3: What are General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds)?

A3: General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds) are long-term loans that the school district uses to finance large capital projects. The $25 million GO Bond will fund significant infrastructure improvements across Silver Schools.

Funding and Projects

Q4: How will the funds from SB-9 be used?

A4: Funds from SB-9, generating approximately $1,273,581 per year, will be used for ongoing maintenance of 8 school buildings as well as school facilities and extra-curricular facilities like Fox Field and Ben Altimarano Fields and technology needs in the district, including day-to-day facility repairs and technology upgrades. These dollars are crucial in maintaining schools.

Q5: What specific projects will the $25 million GO Bond support?

A5: The $25 million GO Bond will support various projects, including:

- Roof repairs at Cliff, Harrison, La Plata, Silver High, Sixth Street, Stout,

- Leveraging a waiver from the Public School Capital Outlay Council to replace Cliff Schools

- Plumbing Issues at Jose Barrios

- Addressing water intrusion at various campuses.

- Emergency Lighting and other Safety Needs at all schools,

- Exhaust fan and boiler replacements at several schools.

- Technology replacements and upgrades.

- Replacing Exhausting Ventalaiting Systems.

- Replacing Heating, Cooling Systems

- Replacing Exhausting Ventalaiting Systems.

- Upgrading Fire Detection Systems.

Q6: What are the highest priority needs identified by the district?

A6: The highest priority needs include:

- Roof repairs at Cliff Schools, Schmitt ES, and Silver HS, costing approximately $7.2 million.

- Addressing water intrusion and mold at Cliff Schools.

- Fire alarm upgrades at Sixth Street ES.

- Other critical maintenance and safety improvements.

Q7: How much is allocated for the highest priority needs?

A7: The highest priority needs cost approximately $7.2 million and cover seven schools, addressing standards, systems, life safety, maintenance, and technology.

Financial Impact

Q8: Will renewing SB-9 increase my taxes?

A8: No, renewing SB-9 will not increase tax rates. It extends the current 2-mill levy to continue providing essential funding for school maintenance and technology.

Q9: How will the GO Bond affect my taxes?

A9: Approving the $25 million GO Bond will increase taxes by 4.1 mills to begin a bond program of $6 million recurring for the next 5 years.

Q10: What is the current debt service levy for Silver Schools?

A10: The current debt service levy for Silver Schools is 1.927 mills. This supports the existing bond program, which has an outstanding debt of $15 million from bonds issued between 2017-2022. This is the 16th lowest debt levy out of the 89 school districts in the state.

Q11: How does Silver Schools' tax rate compare to other districts?

A11: Silver Schools has one of the lowest taxing rates in the state, ranking 16th out of 89 school districts, and is among the lowest in the southwest corner of the state.

Waiver Process

Q12: What is the State Waiver process?

A12: The State Waiver process allows the school district to adjust the local share required for funding if it can demonstrate a good-faith effort to use all local resources. The council considers factors like insufficient bonding capacity, local tax rates, student enrollment, and the percentage of students on free/reduced lunch.

Q13: What are the criteria for the State Waiver?

A13: Criteria for the State Waiver include:

- Insufficient bonding capacity for the local match.

- Local tax rate equal to or greater than 10 mills.

- Local match greater than 50%.

Silver Schools, with the approval of this bond can apply for the State Waiver.

Community and Economic Impact

Q14: How will the improvements funded by the GO Bond benefit the community?

A14: The improvements funded by the GO Bond will enhance the physical learning environment, improve safety and security, support career and college readiness programs, and boost property values by maintaining high-performing schools.

Q15: What is the impact of school facilities on home values?

A15: High-performing schools and well-maintained facilities contribute to higher home values and thriving communities. Investing in school infrastructure directly benefits the local economy and property market.

Voting Information

Q16: How can I participate in the Mail-In Ballot Election?

A16: Detailed instructions on how to participate in the Mail-In Ballot Election will be provided to all eligible voters from our Grant County Clerk. We are expecting to receive our ballots July 24th - July 26th. Ensure your voter registration is up to date to receive your ballot by mail.

Q17: When is the deadline to submit my mail-in ballot?

A17: The deadline to submit your mail-in ballot is August 20th, 2024. Please follow the provided guidelines in the mail-out ballot to ensure your vote is counted.

Additional Questions

Q18: What happens if the GO Bond is not approved?

A18: If the GO Bond is not approved, the district will not have the necessary funds to address critical infrastructure needs, which will result in continued deterioration of school facilities and increased maintenance costs. We do not generate enough local dollars over a five year span to address the Priority 1 $7.2 Million of maintenance needs of the distict.

Q19: How does the SB-9 funding affect day-to-day operations?

A19: SB-9 funding directly supports day-to-day facility repairs and improvements, ensuring that schools are safe, functional, and conducive to learning based on the dollars we collect locally.

Q20: How is the funding from SB-9 and GO Bonds different?

A20: SB-9 funds are used for maintenance and technology, covering day-to-day operations, while GO Bonds finance larger capital projects and infrastructure improvements.

Q21: How will technology be improved with the new funding?

A21: The funding will support ongoing technology replacements, upgrades, and enhancements to keep up with changing educational needs and ensure students have access to modern learning tools.

For more detailed information on the upcoming Mail-In Ballot Election, please refer to the Silver Schools informational website or contact the district office directly.

Silver Schools Priority Needs

13 days ago