Votes yes on prop r on april 3 to support riverview schools editorials stlamerican.com power outage houston reliant

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Bond issues – which require a 4/7 majority to pass, much larger than a simple majority – can only be used to fund improvements such as repairs, renovations, construction, and the purchase of big-ticket items such as technology. Planned improvements would make students in the district safer, more comfortable, better prepared to be competitive, with support of more up-to-date and attractive infrastructure and physical facilities.

The proposed upgrades are necessary for safety and security, including new locks, alarms, cameras, and a modern phone system; heating and air conditioning to ensure classroom environments are conducive to learning; technology to support learning and to help students be more competitive; classrooms and other interior spaces; playgrounds; paving and rooftops; and restrooms. These bricks-and-mortar improvements would support a district that is showing impressive signs of improving in the most critical area, the preparation of students. For the second year in a row, the district has earned provisional accreditation from the State Board of Education.

Riverview Gardens is a predominantly African-American public school district serving more than 5,700 students in Pre-K through the 12th grade. The district, now governed by a state-appointed Special Administrative Board, experienced 10 years (2007-2017) of being unaccredited, which led to millions of dollars lost in declining assessed property valuation. Riverview is largely residential, with most larger tax-paying businesses falling just outside its boundaries. A loss in assessed valuation severely limits the district’s ability to generate sufficient resources to keep up with its critical needs. That is why the district is putting this bond proposal before voters.

The district has already achieved improved student outcomes with less than adequate resources. This academic progress has been achieved despite aging heating and air conditioning systems that often require students and teachers to wear coats in some classrooms on frigid days, despite broken laptop keys and aging technology, and despite lacking the basic necessities found in other schools. Because of concern for the needs of its students, the district is asking the community for help in sustaining the forward momentum it has attained over the past three years. We strongly believe the district – and especially, its students – warrant public support.

Passage of Prop R would be an investment in the futures of Riverview Gardens students and an acknowledgement that the community believes in the district and its leadership and wants to be part of its continued success in the future. Excellent schools are essential for a prosperous, stable community and we believe neighborhood schools are the heart of every community and that – no matter where a student lives, no matter their household income – every student deserves the best education we can provide them in the most safe-and-sound, up-to-date, and attractive environment. We strongly urge a vote of YES ON PROPOSITION R IN THE RIVERVIEW GARDENS SCHOOL DISTRICT.