Tuesday, November 7 marks an important day for our schools. On that day, Election Day, voters will decide on a critical bond and permanent improvement levy.
Both items – two issues combined as one – will allow us to address critical facility needs which include the construction of two new school buildings to alleviate overcrowding and important funding for the upkeep needs in all of our district schools. Both are desperately needed.
Right now, and because we simply do not have the funds to address these needs, we are having to divert funds from our daily operating budget to make short-term fixes and to purchase trailers to serve as classrooms. Diverting funds from the daily operating budget means that we are diverting money away from the classroom and it stresses that budget. Moreover, overcrowding provides definite safety issues and even reduced opportunities for students.
That is not the quality of education that we expect in Big Walnut.
We are sensitive to the needs of our residents. In placing this frugal issue on the ballot, we were careful to only ask for what we absolutely need right now. Moreover, if passed, we structured the bond issue so that we only sell the bonds as we need them for construction. That means that residents will not see 100% collection immediately. Rather, residents will see a phase-in of the bond issue.
If the Nov. 7 ballot issue fails, then the need does not go away; it worsens and it potentially becomes costlier over time to remedy. I have often noted that the biggest threat to the future of our schools is to “do nothing” with this issue and to maintain the status quo.
The status quo only means that we jeopardize the financial future of our schools and place our district behind in addressing the growth that is here and is already on the way.
Tuesday, November 7 is an important election in our community and the outcome will determine the future direction of our schools. It really is that important.
Please be sure to get out and vote in this election and be sure to reach out to me with any questions.
Angela S. Pollock