In my 10 years as a reporter and editor for the Monroe Monitor, I wrote many, many stories about the state of Monroe’s schools. In my professional capacity, I never offered my own views, but now that I’m no longer a producer of news content in Monroe, I am inspired to speak up on behalf of the Monroe Public Schools bond.
The schools need financial support. I have seen enough evidence of this to make an unqualified recommendation that they receive it. Year after year, I reported on the results of citizens committees that conducted exhaustive analysis of the budget and the needs of the school district, and citizens of all political stripe agreed that the district’s needs outstrip its budget. I’ve toured building after building with numerous inadequacies, in terms of major repairs, electrical infrastructure, and constrained space. I’ve seen teachers spending money out of their own pockets for school supplies, even building their own cabinets.
This bond will help address some of those problems, especially given that going forward there will be more support from the state to strengthen the contribution of the community.
I am a masters and doctoral student at the University of Washington, currently. As such, I help teach undergraduates. I have a great opportunity to witness the results of a quality high school education. I also have the opportunity to see the serious challenges faced by kids who come in lacking in key skills, whether they be language skills or technological skills, which are far more critical than most people who haven’t been to college for a while might imagine. Kids coming into college, preparing to go out into a very competitive and technologically advanced labor market, need every advantage they can get. It is expensive, there is no doubt about that. But I believe in investing in kids at every opportunity, and to the greatest degree possible. It’s worth some sacrifice, as every parent knows. But every citizen, parent or not, benefits, because an investment in a child’s education is an investment in the community and nation.
This isn’t a partisan issue. It has received support from conservatives and progressives alike. That is warming, and speaks well for the community. This bond also includes the input of citizens who spent more than a year reviewing the district’s needs. I believe Monroe deserves to be a place that can take pride in doing all it can for its kids.
Polly Keary is a Mill Creek resident and former editor of the Monroe Monitor newspaper.