Letter to the Editor: We need to ask questions about the school bond
January 11, 2011 · 1:04 PM
Before we get carried away, we should question the school bond levy for many reasons.
The existing school buildings are functional. I graduated from Vashon High School in 1978 after attending Burton Elementary and McMurray Middle School. When I went to school, education was simple and effective; so were the facilities.
In the four-and-a-half decades I’ve lived on Vashon, I have watched human life populate and fill in our environment. The extra housing, traffic and expense are not an improvement in life quality. Since growth defines our behavior as a society, my outlook on the future is less than optimistic.
The $51.2 million the school district seeks for improvements may disturb you. In recent publications, I counted roughly 26 high school classrooms. Does the average classroom on Vashon really cost over $1.9 million?
Because K-12 education has minimal user fees, most of the cost is borne by our tax dollars. It’s expensive enough to live here already.
If those who can afford these bonds want improved schools, they’re free to pool their money and build their dream school.
One hundred sixty off-Island students attend Vashon schools. Do off-Island students pay their fair share of expenses?
Proponents would like us to believe this is for the kids: Is it?
New and improved school buildings tend to attract growth. They probably enhance the education experience. But don’t the kids eventually need affordable homes? Perhaps there’s a better way to fund schools than taxing real estate.
We Americans have left the kids enough debt. It’s disheartening to think we might add $51.2 million more. I believe a no vote is compassionate to taxpayers, supports affordable housing for our kids and impedes growth.
— Jeff Schnelz