Thanks to Jason Mitchell for creating some transparency into the school issue. Just exactly what we are getting for $61,285,000 has been murky from the beginning discussions. The "Facts" flyer sent out by the school uses high sounding phrases like "state-of-the-art," "next generation" and "up graded." So, exactly what are we paying for?
Of the eight improvements to the high school, six have nothing to do with better academic learning, though I concede that larger desks may be needed than sometime back. The auxiliary gym and locker room upgrades could be great learning tools if some student energy were spent raising necessary monies. The property would probably be better appreciated.
Modular classrooms are usually considered temporary, to be used until better arrangements seem prudent. Considering the favorable response to the program at Walton, something more permanent is appropriate. From there on, what "safety, security and technology upgrades are we buying?
Jerry Epp (Newton Now, Oct. 5) stated that a list of problems at the high school are not due to neglect and the maintenance staff has kept things fixed as best they can. A leaking roof and separating walls usually call for more extensive attention than routine maintenance. That is where that $11,000,000 should have been, and still can be, used.
Have we been told how much interest we will need to pay on this bond if it is approved? How many years will we be paying for it? How many elderly people living on limited social security will have to give up meals for a couple of weeks each year to pay their share? (Don't tell me about those cost of living raises. That's another "misunderstanding.") Gorgeous buildings do not teach character, sharing, collaboration, overcoming adversity, kindness, generosity or humility. Yes, in addition to the gifts of life, food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, etc. already granted, we would like to gift our students with the best education possible. The best education is one provided by good teachers that doesn't put others now or citizens later in penury. One we and they can afford.
Before you decide how to vote Nov. 7, keep digging for specific facts. Decide if we have a right to saddle the unknown future with our debt. Then vote, not for what some dream of having, but what is best for all now and later.
— Vivian Hedrick, Newton.