The Argument for 5A & 5B


Green Mountain High School

Photo of library while work was done to fix the water damage caused by storms

Grahm Tuohy-Gaydos, Managing Editor

Note: Opinions expressed in this piece do not represent the views of this paper or the school.

The gym at Green Mountain High School sits unused. Water leakage from storms has seeped under the floor, leading to the cancellation of volleyball and gymnastics events that were scheduled at the school. The Homecoming Dance was moved to the commons due to this damage as well. Asbestos lingers under the floor, and lead has been found in some sinks at the school, leading to the removal of one drinking fountain. The school cafeteria at times cannot feed all students as the lines are to long. The track floods during winter and summer, and the A/C has broken before. In other words, our school is a mess. At over 45 years old, the building cannot handle the stress that is being put on it day to day, and something needs to be done about it.


The answer that Jefferson County has given us is 5A & 5B. 5A will raise teacher salaries, as well as provide mental health support along with various other improvements. 5B gives money to help pay for renovations. However, there has been quite intense opposition to the issues on the ballot. Concerns about taxes, where the money will go, and plain opposition for the bill has led some to get a wrong view of the questions on the ballot. Some have said that the school has no issues and is in perfect condition, or that they shouldn’t need to pay money for something that they don’t have any stock in, as they don’t have kids in the district. Some say that they won’t support it as they dislike GMHS or a teaching method at the school. These concerns are bogus. The two measures only mean that you have to pay about $235 extra each year if you live in a house that costs $500,000. That means you pay only about $19.50 more in taxes each month. That’s about as much as a box of 100 pencils or two dozen donuts at Safeway. The difference in taxes is almost unnoticeable for many. And according to the NARRD, more than 26% of home buyers looked at schools while searching for homes. Some economists estimate that home prices could jump by about 2.5% with test improvements at schools. Even if you don’t have a friend or family member going to school, it’s not hard to see that schools contribute a large amount to how a prospective house buyer views a community.


So what would happen to GMHS if the measures passed? Quite a lot, actually. The building’s interior would be completely redone, Workshops for STEM would get a total remodel along with rooms for the agriculture department.  There would be a new addition, and all sports fields would be totally redone. That would mean almost a totally different school environment for students, where they could work on almost any project they want with the materials they need at hand. A much-deserved raise for the teachers at GM would allow them to do their jobs better and allow them to breathe easier financially.


Schools are the epicenter of the community that surrounds them. Even if you don’t want to pay more in taxes or don’t support what the school teaches, that does NOT mean that you shouldn’t do it anyway. Yes, you may not be able to buy as many donuts or coffees, but in return, you allow the next generation to flourish. If you have problems with what the school teaches, take them directly to the school and not to the ballot box. If you don’t feel that teachers do enough, talk to the kids that listen to them every day. If you think that Green Mountain is in perfect condition, take a walk through the halls and gym. GMHS can be better than it is currently. As students we need to do our part.  Talk to your parents. Explain the importance of these two measures and convince them to vote yes on 5A and 5B. Have them put a sign in their yard, or talk to their neighbors about it. The more we can show the community the benefits of these two measures, the better chance they have of passing. And if they don’t, maybe next year’s homecoming theme can be, “Under the Sea” when we have to hold it in the gym.