By Christina Calloway
PNT senior writer
Kindergarten teacher Erin Mitchell sees firsthand what needs to be improved in the school district she works in.
The 34-year-old mother walked out of the Portales Memorial Building Tuesday night after voting in favor of a $5.5 million Portales Municipal Schools bond, motivated by the change she wants to see.
“We need all the help we can get,” Mitchell said. “The teachers are struggling, we have to do something.”
Mitchell was one of 418 people who voted in favor of the school bond in Tuesday’s election; sixty-seven people voted against.
In addition to a portion of the bond expected to fund the schools’ partnership with Eastern New Mexico University and its new multi-purpose $8 million stadium being built, Mitchell said she wants to see the security upgrades in the schools.
“There’s so many budget cuts, this will help,” she said.
Portales schools officials say the bond will fund several projects, including the purchase and installation of computers.
“One of the things that really excites me is the computers we’ll be able to buy the kids,” said Superintendent Johnnie Cain.
Cain said he was pleased with the election results, and happy that Portales students will be able to keep up with technology.
“We’ll have the funds we need to do what we need to do,” Cain said. “The Portales people have been good to the schools.”
ENMU President Steven Gamble said he was also happy to hear the bond passed.
“The citizens of Portales have a reputation as being very supportive of education,” Gamble said. “This vote proves once again, they put the students of the community first.”
Gamble declined to comment on the partnership with Portales schools because he said the deal is not complete yet.
ENMU sophomore Kelsey Prince said she voted in favor of the bond because it’s important to support education.
The Portales High School grad said she thinks the money “would help our schools and get the students more motivated in their education.”
While 58-year-old Sawyer Wortham said he certainly supports education too, he doesn’t believe paying taxes is the way to do it, which is why he voted against the bond.
“We’ve got enough taxes,” Wortham said.
Wortham thinks the percentage the school is given from the taxpayer dollars is sickening.
ENMU professor and mother of three Suzanne Swift, 46, said voting for the bond was an easy decision.
“Kids are expensive and schools need help,” Swift said.
Total ballots cast: 486
Total for: 418
Total against: 67
Election day results
One ballot was returned with no vote