Concerned bond won't help students

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDOctober 15, 2013 

Not $1 of the $160 million school bond will be spent to reduce classroom sizes, hire more teachers or adequately pay them, fund enrichment programs, environmental learning, support neighborhood schools, STEM education, or the arts. As Democrats, when asked to support education we ask, "where do I sign?" but this time around we have to pay attention even if it is politically uncomfortable. Closing Larrabee Elementary School is the canary in the coal mine. I believe it is the first sign that the superintendent is leading us away from small classroom sizes, away from walkable neighborhood schools, and towards $10 million district offices, bloated top administration budgets, and policies that reflect a belief that student learning will increase if teachers just work harder, accept less pay and benefits, volunteer more of their time, and sacrifice. There are many valuable components of the facilities bond but we can't let a few shiny trinkets distract us from taking a closer look. The superintendent's road show presents that the community has been integral to bond planning. I disagree. Those of us who participated believe that a decision had been made and that community/educator input was merely intended to be marginalized wallpaper on a predetermined outcome. As a community and as Democrats we can't afford to not dig deeper. We need a smarter, student focused bond plan.

Carrie Blackwood

Bellingham

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