It’s simple. We’re a community, “a group of people living together” practicing “joint ownership or liability.” As voters, we own responsibility to make informed decisions about the safety and security — especially for children who do not yet have the privilege to vote.
A decision we must make, is passing the upcoming Monroe School Bond.
Why? Students’ safety and security. Physical risks. Smart financial planning. Avoiding tax increases. Community livability. Our own consciences.
Unimaginable events like Columbine are terrifying, and on a much less dramatic but far more prevalent level, our children’s physical safety is at risk. Many readers cannot understand how hazardous these aging buildings are becoming without a need to physically step foot inside.
To illustrate, my child’s school, Salem Woods Elementary is 35 years old and serves 450 students, including autistic, visually impaired students, special and general education students from kindergarten through fifth grade. With its wide-open campus, multiple entrances/exits and doors that face the street, this elementary has absolutely no security or protection from an outside threat. The doors have to be locked from the outside in case of an emergency.
The HVAC system is failing. Classrooms of children wear coats nearly year round to stay warm, and the roof leaks so badly that garbage cans are used to catch rainwater in multiple places. Frank Wagner and Park Place Middle Schools are in similar, if not worse, condition and pose the same risks of a wide open campus.
It is not a matter of if we need to fix our schools, it’s a matter of how fast can we act together as a community to do it. The district worked for more than two years with community members including parents to physically tour each facility and prioritize necessities. This work formed the board’s proposal.
Although I dislike politics, I find myself talking to everyone I can about our Monroe School District proposed bond. Why? Passing is is imperative!
Money is always an issue, so here’s a key point: the tax rate is not going up — it renews at exactly the same rate as we homeowners already pay. While that is awesome, I want you to vote “yes” because you don’t want our kids sitting in leaky, cold, unsafe classrooms!!
We need 60 percent “yes” votes to pass this bond, and since only 30 percent of Monroe voters turn out to vote, when I say “every vote counts,” it is not a line!
Individuals you know and respect are endorsing: The Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, former and current city Mayors, Take the Next Step, the City of Monroe Council, ourfFirefighters, all of our school PTAs, busineses, second- and third generation families. Look here for others, more information, and ways YOU can help: www.voteyes4monroeschools.org. Call 360-804-2503 to arrange a building tour to see for yourself.
On the fence? Remember: The children you vote “yes” for by April 28 will include future leaders making important decisions affecting you and I in our aging years. Let’s show them by example what’s important.
Cole Fleury is a Monroe resident and Monroe School District parent.