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Support capital projects
As a person that just recently took a substantial pay cut, I watch where every penny goes today. I understand taxes are necessary for our shared basic needs and I expect accountability and responsible, conservative spending of my tax dollars.
When I first heard of $154 million price tag I was taken aback. So I’ve done my own research and went to source documents to get some facts.
The McCleary decision forces a reallocation of nearly $5 billion in funds currently spent in other state agencies to be reapportioned to the state’s school system in the next four years. But what those new funds can be spent on is limited to maintenance, supplies, class size reduction, increased instruction, salaries, school buses and full-day kindergarten.
But we can’t spend these funds on capital projects.
We’ll have better programs for our kids, but we’ll be left with crumbling, inefficient facilities that at some point must be dealt with. Interest rates are extremely low right now and even a quarter-point bump in interest rates will mean millions more in cost, if we delay.
Our kids deserve better. Delaying these inevitable projects is akin to not getting that filling replaced – when you finally go in, it ends up being a crown and costs many times more.
Our schools perceived level of performance affects all of us. Olympic Medical Center can’t fill open physician positions because doctors want better schools for their own kids.
I’ll be voting for the bond. I encourage you to also.
(McAleer is a Port of Port Angeles commissioner)