CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - A New Mexico school district has admitted it made a costly mistake in missing an opportunity to bring in millions of dollars
Now it'sfound a way to make up for it.
There are more than 6,000 students spread across 14 schools in Carlsbad. Many schools are more than 50 years old and showing their age.
"We've got a lot of needs that we have to keep up with technology, especially as old as some of our buildings are," Carlsbad Municipal Schools Superintendent Gary Perkowski told KRQE News 13.
But Carlsbad voters didn't get a chance to decide on renewing the state's Public School Capital Improvements Act, also known as Senate Bill 9, which allows schools to use funds from property tax for improvements.
"We're upset that we missed the deadline on it, but it's one of those things that just happens," said Perkowski.
The deadline to take it to a vote was June 30, but Perkowski said with staff changes it was overlooked.
Had SB-9 been renewed, the district would have roughly $3 million to work with. Now, it's looking to approve a $3.4 million technology bond to replace some of the loss.
"It's paid for by taxpayers, but it won't be a tax increase," Perkowski said. "There's no tax increase involved with it."
The money would come from property taxes and would pay for upgrades such as new computers, software and smart labs. If the tech bond is approved, Perkowski said they were able to get a 0.2 percent interest rate that would cost the city just over $6,000 in financing.
Perkowski said the entire bond would be paid off in a year. It's also the only option to replace lost funds until SB-9 can be voted on next year.
If the tech bond isn't approved, Perkowski said, "It'd be unfortunate because it means our children would not get the technology education and the use of technology that they need to be effective students in today's world."
It isn't up to voters to approve the $3.4 million bond. KRQE News 13 received word just before 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, that the board of education unanimously voted to approve the tech bond.
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