Critical Mass: Who Will Manage The School Bond Money?

McQueen High School, built in 1982, is at 126 percent capacity with important replacement needs of boilers for necessary systems and master lock system throughout the facility.
McQueen High School, built in 1982, is at 126 percent capacity with important replacement needs of boilers for necessary systems and master lock system throughout the facility. Image: SOS Washoe.

Throughout discussions about overcrowding, at least one person has questioned the management and transparency of the funds collected through the bond measure on this November’s ballot.
It is a fair question and in today’s article, one that I will answer.

As discussed in the last article in my series, there are a lot of different funds within the district and each have their own set of rules and laws that govern them. It can be hard even for someone well versed on the issue to keep track. It is even harder for Joe or Jenny Public. WC1 will add a half penny sales tax increase that will settle our school building woes once and for all.

WCSD has recognized the need for transparency and has worked to provide several publicly viewable tools for us from the complex to the simple like this quick breakdown and the Data Gallery. The Data Gallery shows in detail where checks are written, who they are written to, what they were for and which fund they came from.

But is it enough?

NRS 387.328 defines by law where capital projects funds must be spent. NRS 393.092 is the law that defines the committee that must be established to oversee this money. In years prior, the district did have a representative on that committee but under a revision to Board Policy 9405 this committee will only be made up of members of our community.

These are people like us and who do NOT have a vested interest in the district itself with:

  • two elected Washoe County officials
  • two each elected officials from both Reno and Sparks
  • a member with structural/civil engineering
  • one with experience in public works
  • one who has finance and cost of construction experience
  • a gaming representative
  • and one member of the community who just cares about our schools and our kids.
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These folks will keep WCSD accountable and they will decide where funds will be spent, how they will be spent and they will be the ones presenting it to the board in public meetings. Even you could be one of its members.

So while trust in the school board and it’s members may still be lacking, trust your fellow citizens. They are as concerned with proper spending as you are and they will do right by us. Plus, all of us can and will be watching.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.

Critical Mass is a series that addresses questions, myths, misinformation, state statutes, the school district and the 2016 bond initiative that will appear on the November 2016 ballot. Read the complete series.

About Michelle Beck 12 Articles
Michelle is a native Nevadan that grew up in Reno and has lived in Sparks for the last 20 years. She has 10 years experience as a volunteer and leader with several children's and parental organizations, four years on the Nevada State PTA executive board and two years as a member of the WCSD Parent Involvement Council. She has written articles for state and national PTA as well as two local magazines. She now runs a home business, fundraises for local charities, is a cheer mom and mother of a soon to be freshman at UNLV.