I am writing to urge Hillsborough residents to vote “Yes” on the Dec.10th school referendum. This is a bond referendum for very important capital improvements to all nine school buildings. Passage of the referendum allows the Board of Education to finance these major projects over twenty years and to be eligible for $14 million in debt service aid from the state.

This aid is only available if the referendum is passed; it is NOT available when projects are funded through the operating budget. Work can proceed as soon as the referendum is passed, and students and staff can benefit from an improved environment for learning. Due to the retirement of previous debt in 2021-22, this portion of our taxes will be reduced by $40 for the average home of $350,000. (https://www.htps.us/repair_replace_revive/tax_calculator).

At recent board meetings, teachers, students, and community members alike have mentioned leaky roofs, HVAC/air quality issues, and parking lots badly in need of resurfacing, among other problems. Patching and preventive maintenance have limits. Over the years, these problems simply become more expensive to fix, especially when they become emergency repairs.

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We should treat our schools like we treat our homes, especially when we have this special opportunity for state funding. Whether you are a teacher, student, parent, staff member, or any member of the community who wants to keep up the value of your property, I urge you to vote Yes on this referendum. We care about our schools!

There is complete information on this “Repair, Replace, Revive” initiative on the schools’ website at https://www.htps.us/repair_replace_revive . Please look especially at the Frequently Asked Questions. There also have been many in-person meetings/coffees/facility tours with the public that school officials have been holding since October. Those remaining are listed on the website.

You can also email the Board at boe@htps.us to express your thoughts and ask your questions.

If you have already received a mail-in-ballot for the election, you can mail it back any time up until the election. Make sure you review all the information above before filling it out and mailing it back. All registered voters will receive a sample ballot about a week before the election; please check your voting location, as some of the polls have been consolidated. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, Dec.10th and please make sure to vote. Polls are open from 6 a.m.-8 p.m.

Let’s all join in to support our schools!