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Adequately funding our schools is a higher priority than an arts center | Letter to the Editor
It has recently come to my attention that a new multi-million dollar arts center will be built here on Vashon. I’ve been hearing of the new arts center for a while, but the multi-million dollar part seems to have slipped my ears until a couple of weeks ago.
I am a rising senior at the high school and drive around a lot. Each time I pass through town I notice the enormous thermometer indicating how much money our schools have been able to fundraise. It seems odd to me that we have a sign thanking the community for almost making the goal of $500,000 when I read an article on the new $16 million project to expand the arts department on Vashon.
I do not mean to imply the arts are not important, for I believe they are a huge part of this community and enrich all of our lives. However, it is disturbing to me that our same community cannot even raise half a million dollars to just sustain the education system and facilities on Vashon.
Parents, teachers, volunteers, and even students have been begging to find $500,000 on this small Island, draining what seems like the entire Island’s pockets. However, somehow at least $5.2 million has been raised to build an arts center that, in my opinion, is not first on this community’s to-do list.
I am not a complaining parent, a biased principal or a school board member. I am a student who experiences the useless mud track, unplayable sports fields, breaking bleachers, lack of Kleenex, school newspaper cuts, shortages of classes, clubs, teachers and space to work. I am the student who is being jeopardized. All I ask of Vashon is to think about where your money is going and what your priorities are.
— Avalon Koenig