Tuesday, January 29, 2013
It’s like deja vu hearing, “Our kids deserve it, rates are low.” This was the same argument I heard about the city waterpark proposal.
Walla Walla High School needs AC, windows and some paint. Wa-Hi wants outdoor study courtyards, elevators, enclosed walkways, new offices for administration along with other wants on the list.
As for furniture, a track, science and workout equipment those items can be funded by grants — just apply. Wa-Hi officials claim it is overpopulated yet it will be losing between 300 to 400 students to College Place, another 100 to the Walla Walla Community College Skills Center, students will shift to Lincoln High School and students enroll in Running Start at WWCC. On top of that, state House Bill 1208 proposes that high school students be allowed to take online college level courses from home, earning double credits to achieve a high school diploma and their AA degree.
So the estimated 1,800 students enrolled at WA-Hi within the next two years could decrease by a perhaps 500, if not more.
School officials are asking for “property owners” to foot the $48 million bill for this project. Why is it that property owners are being asked to be the only ones who pay for it? A good portion of parents aren’t property owners, what do they pay to have their children in school?
Many county and state employees have been required to take mandatory pay cuts the last one or two years to keep their jobs. The federal government just increased Social Security taxes an average of $700 per year, and Wa-Hi wants to tack on another $200 to $600 per year for a school remodel.
Property owners cannot afford to foot this bill. The argument, “rates are low,” is how the U.S. got into economic despair. It spends money it doesn’t have because purchases are seen as the equivalant of buying products on sale.
There is a current school bond already on the tax rolls. And in the recent mailing from the School District states the costs needed for Lincoln are being assessed. Do I see yet another bond in the works?
Needs vs. wants.
Grants need to be applied for, students need to take an active role in campus projects, and budgets need to allow for yearly or biyearly capital improvements.