Voting “No” is NOT about denying the kids an education. It is about fiscal responsibility. The state has awarded the Lopez school district a $738,000 Energy Conservation grant and $400,000 grant for renovations to the high school. The Bond is for $15.5million, interest of $3.9 million over 20 years and the above grants of $1.1 million make the true cost $20.5 million not $15.5 million. Keep in mind that the grants are also awarded with tax dollars – your tax dollars.
The board states that it will save $750,000 in energy cost by “green” construction additions. If we look closely at those “green” additions, from their budget, it costs somewhere between $1-2 million. What business spends $1-2 million to save $750,000 over 30 years? It will take over 90 years to recoup the investment!
Our concern should be about our students’ performance. The OSPI website shows 69.7 percent of our high school students passed the year 1 (algebra) end of course and 60 percent passed year two (geometry). San Juan School District showed 85.9 percent passed year 1 and 92.2 percent passed year 2. Lopez spends approximately $23,000 per student which will become $28,000 if this Bond passes. San Juan spends nearly one half that at $12,965/student. How a garden or culinary course can improve student performance is unclear.
I would encourage you to vote NO on the Lopez School Bond. Taxes will go up an estimated 64 percent and affect everyone except the students. The investment just doesn’t add up. We need to look at student success, not community kitchens.
Kenneth R. Sinibaldi