As a long-time (25 year) taxpayer on Lopez, and parent of two children who went through the Lopez school system, I am writing in support of the proposed school bond. Recent mailings and postings have clearly shown the many ways in which the school bond “facts and figures’” can be interpreted. Two facts, however, are indisputable: our 70-year-old school has never had a comprehensive renovation, and the yearly cost of this to the taxpayer will be $68/$100K assessed value. Are the proposed renovations worth this cost to the community? I believe the answer is a resounding “yes.”
Lopez School is at the heart of our community. As the largest island employer and a potential magnet for young families, it is important to our economic well-being. A primary goal of our school must be – and presently is – to educate students in the basics, at a level that meets or exceeds standards. But to sustain the vibrant and diverse community we prize, our school must do more. It should instill a life-long love of learning, so that former students are able to change and grow with the times. It should welcome and embrace the entire community, to increase the scope of our children’s learning. And it should inspire, so that Lopez graduates will have dreams and ideas of what to do with the skills and knowledge they work hard to acquire.
A vote for the school bond is a vote for such a place. Making the school safe, comfortable, green, and empowering is neither fiscally irresponsible nor a choice between basic education and “fancy stuff.” Rather, it is a recognition of the many threads that must be woven together to educate students in the 21st century, and of the unique nature of that fabric of learning in our island environment. Please take the time to educate yourself on the specifics of the school bond. Then join me in voting “yes” on your April ballot.