The Talon

The Student News Site of Rockwood Summit High School

The Talon

The Talon

Rockwood brings Prop. 3 to the ballot

The Rockwood School District is calling community members to vote on Proposition 3 and approve a levy transfer on November 7.

Currently, the district has a tax rate of $3.8907 per every $100, with $0.68 going towards debt services and $0.08 towards capital projects. If the proposition is enacted, taxpayers will not be required to pay more or less, but their money will be allocated differently. The rate for the capital projects fund will increase to $0.62, taking $0.54 from the debt service’s tax rate. This will amount to $26-27 million annually for projects regarding maintenance and improvements to the building and technology. Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain said this funding is becoming more important as schools age and keeping facilities up to date becomes more difficult.

“We’re going to be looking at three areas, the first being technology, then safety, and the third being facilities. The average age of a school in the Rockwood School District is 47 years. At that point in time, when it comes to brick and mortar needs, there are situations where updates are needed. We’re trying to get ahead of the curve before we get decimated with ongoing needs. We’re working to be strategic to address the needs we have as a school district, and we want to do so in the most fiscally responsible manner we can,” Cain said.

The district has created priority projects for each school that they hope to begin if funding increases from Proposition 3. For Summit, these projects include new devices for students, staff, and classrooms, as well as updated security measures. Principal Dr. Emily McCown said that a major concern of the school is updating Chromebooks.

“I think in terms of our students, the technology piece is really critical. Our freshman didn’t get a refresh on the Chromebooks, so they’re using one that’s three years old already. I don’t know if that’s going to make it through their senior year,” McCown said.

Facility wise, Cain said that the district is focusing on replacing the roof above the pool, updating heating and cooling systems through the school, and improving accessibility features like the elevators and chair lifts

“The natatorium, for example, there’s a roof replacement that’s needed in that part of the building. We know that there are some elevator and ADA lift replacements that are needed and overdue in the building, and I know for a fact that there are parts of this building in terms of HVAC that need our attention. Again, this is one of our newer high schools. If we have any of the same air conditioning equipment from any way, shape, or form from the time the building opened, we’re well past the point where a replacement is needed.”

Business teacher Elizabeth D’Angelo said that students can’t learn as well when there isn’t funding for the district to maintain facilities like air conditioning.

“We saw what it looked like that first week of school when the air conditioning wasn’t working in quite a few of our buildings. Kids have to feel comfortable to be learning. If you’re distracted because you’re hot and sweaty, you’re not going to be focusing on learning,” D’Angelo said.

The levy would reduce the debt services fund to a rate of $0.14; however, Cain ensures that the district’s debt is controlled.

“I can assure you that we have taken a look at our schedule and everything that we’re doing will allow us to meet our debts in the same manner that we’re doing right now. We would not default in any way, shape, or form. We’ll live up to our obligations. This brings up money that we’re desperately in need of for ongoing needs in our district,” Cain said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Mary Corkery, Editor-In-Chief
Class of 2025 Time on staff: 3 years Favorite newspaper memory: My first January stay late when our editor accidently stole a pizza Favorite song: "Bottle Rocket" by Briston Maroney and Manchester Orchestra

Comments (0)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *