The recent November 2 election results were good news for the Questa Independent School District. Voters passed the Public School Capital Improvements Act (SB-9) that will fund ongoing support to continue maintenance and improvements to school facilities—by a wide margin.
It will fund the improvement of school infrastructure, for anything from new furnishings to computers and software to remodeling. It is not the same as a bond issue: bond issues fund major projects such as building a new school.
Also known as the “two-mill levy,” funding the improvements come from a tax increase of $2 for every $1,000 in property value for tax years 2021 through 2026. School districts must ask voters to reauthorize the tax every six years. Mill levy funds cannot be used for school district staff or salaries.
In the past, SB-9 funding went to projects such as fire system ($5,508.60), lighting for the gym ($5,554.62), high school flooring ($195,496.58), a “Barracuda” intruder defense system ($7,027.08), leak and moisture protection for the high school ($24,552.36), elevator maintenance ($6,098.52), and scoreboards ($13,503.04).
If SB-9 had not passed, the necessary funding for repairs and maintenance would essentially be taken out of the classroom budget. On top of that, the district would lose other matching funds from the state of New Mexico, which can be up to 75% of what it otherwise might have.