Writer says misleading info circulating
To the editor:
Some not wanting to invest in our Mt. Pleasant Schools are providing misleading information about school funding. They say this is just about air conditioning and the money is there.
Not so. I’ve done the math. Here are the facts:
If this bond referendum fails we have a serious dilemma. We will have four aging and outdated elementary schools and a very poor system of information technology. Salem and Van Allen School are fifty years old. The older portions of Harlan and Lincoln are nearly sixty. There comes a time when major improvements are required! That time is now.
This dilemma will happen at a time when schools all around Iowa and the nation are being improved to provide the tools our children need to face a rapidly changing world. Take a drive through towns and states that are attracting the best jobs and you’ll see what I mean.
Our School Board and officials will feel it is their duty to do what they can. They know what needs to be done. Each day they will have to do a shell game with funds intended for other purposes. What to do? Defer maintenance? Not fill positions? Cut programs and funds for innovation?
They will draw from money needed for the new high school roof due in about ten years. Price tag: 1.6 million dollars. Computer programs and teacher training will suffer. Needed space for the increasing number of at-risk students will be cut short. Entrance security, fire suppression systems, safe parking and playgrounds will be delayed.
While this goes on there are unforeseen costs to manage. They can only shift money around so much. What about fuel and energy costs? Bus operations? Food? These are often hard to predict. At the last School Board meeting we learned Workers’ Compensation insurance costs are unexpectedly going up $62,000!
Those who say this is just about air conditioning are not giving you the facts. If the money is there why have we not had air conditioning before now? Parents and teachers have been calling for it for years.
Beware of those who give you only one piece of the puzzle. There is much more to it.
I am voting ‘Yes’ on September 9th!
Mary Beth Young