Get the Facts – SOS Washoe


The Path To

SAVING OUR SCHOOLS


Washoe County schools are facing a crisis. The solution is half a cent away.




FAQ



Shall the Board of County Commissioners of Washoe County be authorized to impose a sales and use tax of 0.54% in the County to fund only capital projects of Washoe County School District for the acquisition, construction, repair and renovation of school facilities?

WC-1 is a Washoe County ballot question that provides a local solution to a local problem: a half-cent increase in sales tax to adequately fund the capital needs of Washoe County schools. With this money, we can build 15 new schools and make critically needed repairs to our existing older schools including fix leaking roofs and failing ventilation, and remove asbestos. Currently, there are schools in Washoe County that are more than 30 years old and are in significant need of repair.

The school district budget has two main categories: the General Operating Fund and the Capital Fund. The General Operating Fund pays for expenses like teacher salaries and school supplies. The Capital Fund pays for school construction, repair, and maintenance. The money generated from WC-1 will go ONLY to the Capital Fund.

The question we'll be voting on in November will designate by law that the funds generated can only be spent on school repair and construction. A volunteer Community Oversight Committee will ensure the money is spent properly and transparently.

Experts have examined this potential solution, and exhausted every option. Ultimately, bringing these spaces up to the standards required for safe schools would cost as much as, or more than, building new schools.

Facilities experts along with the staff from each school identify the highest needs of each school with safety as their priority. The Community Oversight Committee will then review proposed expenditures to ensure they are appropriate before they are approved.

Double sessions mean that one school serves two student populations with a morning and evening school schedule. Children would be at bus stops as early as 4:30 a.m. and others would arrive home as late as 7 p.m. Once a middle or high school is 120 percent over capacity, the school will be forced to move to double sessions to accommodate the growing student population. Currently, eight middle and high schools will be moving to this schedule within the next five years with more to follow. Traner, Depoali, Mendive and Shaw middle schools, and McQueen, North Valleys, Spanish Springs and Damonte Ranch high schools will be the first to move to double sessions.

Yes. However, that money is statewide funding for operating expenses — not capital needs. WC-1 addresses an entirely separate need for school construction and repair specifically in Washoe County.

Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS 387.331) prohibits the imposition of a school impact fee on developers in counties with a population more than 55,000. But even if we could levy impact fees, the money generated from the fees would not be sufficient for the needs in Washoe County. Developer fees are one-time fees that do not provide a long-term solution. Using a formula comparable to the one in Lyon County, a new housing tract of 700 homes with a developer fee of $1,700 would only generate $1.9 million. It costs about $20 million to build an elementary school. A developer fee would not provide adequate funding to build new schools or fix recurring repairs over time.

A half-cent increase in the county sales tax is a shared responsibility for everyone: residents, businesses, and tourists. Food and medicine are exempt from the new half-cent tax.

No. We have an infrastructure problem now, which has been with us long before new businesses decided to locate here.

Due to retirements and open seats, four new board members are guaranteed to be elected this November. That means we will have a new majority on the board, which can breathe new life into the process.

If WC-1 passes we will not only adequately fund our schools’ capital needs, we will have a new board, and a new transparent oversight process for construction and repairs.

We are looking for volunteers from all walks of life. Passing WC-1 requires a citizen-led effort to knock on doors, call neighbors, and reach out with social media. Sign up to volunteer on our "join us" tab. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/SOSWashoe. Follow us on Twitter at @SOSWashoe, and visit us at the campaign headquarters — 1 E. Liberty, Ste. 101, Reno, NV 89501.

You can join our Business Advisory Council or Parent-Teacher Advisory Council by emailing Richard@SOSWashoe.com or Brandi@SOSWashoe.com, respectively.



10
Reasons to Support WC-1




1

A third of our schools have not been renovated in more than a generation. These schools need asbestos abatement and repairs to fix leaking roofs and failing ventilation.

2

Twenty elementary schools and four middle schools lack modern fire safety infrastructure because of a lack of capital funding.

3

One in five schools has more students than it can handle, forcing students to learn in hallways and makeshift spaces.

4

Fifteen elementary schools, five middle schools, and five high schools have unfulfilled asbestos abatement requests due to lack of capital funding.

5

Schools in Washoe County are 40 years old on average.

6

If WC-1 fails, eight middle and high schools will be forced to a double-session schedule. Double-session schools serve two student populations, with the earliest students arriving at bus stops at 4:30 a.m. and the latest students returning home at 7 p.m.

7

Out of a seven-member school board, four new trustees will be elected. That's a new leadership majority to put our schools back on track.

8

All of the money from the increase will be dedicated to school repair and construction. Period.

9

Tourists will pay a portion of the half-cent sales tax increase.

10

A new volunteer capital protection committee will ensure the school district spends the money appropriately and transparently.



220+

temporary classrooms are currently in use.

1 in 5

Washoe schools are operating significantly over capacity.

If we increase the county sales tax by

half a cent,

we will raise the revenue we need to fix our aging schools.

All of the money will be dedicated to

school repair &
construction.

Period.

Out of a seven-member school board,

four new trustees

will be elected. We’ll have a fresh start to put our schools back on track.

A new volunteer capital protection comittee

will oversee each and every cent to ensure our money is spent properly and transparently.

We can build

15 New Schools
and repair existing classrooms to

  • Remove asbestos

  • Fix leaking roofs

  • Repair failing ventilation

  • Avoid makeshift classrooms

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