Readers discuss Ferndale school bond


Facebook comments about a Dec. 18 story headlined "Ferndale School Board approves $125 million bond for Feb. ballot" by Bellingham Herald reporter Zoe Fraley:

Lynda Fell:

"The average tax increase amounts to $30 month. If we wait, it will cost more. And the benefits to our community is priceless in the way of construction jobs. All these workers will be eating and shopping in Ferndale over the period of construction, a godsend to Ferndale's mom and pop businesses. And the end result? New high school facilities that will benefit all of Ferndale, not to mention our children. I'm surprised and sad to see 'no' votes before you've even done your homework. Knee-jerk reactions such as these are a huge disservice to our community."

Donna Dougherty Shaw:

"Ferndale school district wants to build a high tech school so that they can bring computer education to the classroom -- common core. The district parents need to decide if this is what they want and see clear plans for the expenditure before they vote on a bond and give the school board free rein to spend the money as they see fit, without any voter over sight."

Ray Randell:

"When I graduated Ferndale in '95, my senior class had about 280. Now they are closing in on 400. I can't imagine where they all fit in the same size school.

"If you walk into a high school built in the last five years and see what is available to those students, you'd want the same for the 400 a year being released into our community.

"I know some readers of The Herald are old like me, and don't realize that the modern world requires more than the ability to read and add numbers.

"Everyone has a computer in their pocket; we need programmers. We need bio-engineers to develop artificial organs. We need chemical engineers to develop new nanotech and synthetics. We need physicists, and writers, and lawyers, and leaders, and people who can count change back at the grocery store.

"Some of the people I graduated with have gone on to work at the best companies, working on projects that are changing the world. How many more of us could have done great things if our community had made the investment in us?

"These kids are going to be your neighbors."

Andi Zamora:

"So well said, Ray Randell! Let's give these kids what they need!"

Matthew Aamot:

"The school district has not made their case at all. This is already a 'no' vote from me."

Perry Eskridge:

"One board member describes the amount of the bond as 'staggering,' another wants the community to decide (I thought that was their job, isn't that why we elected them?). Yet, they vote to proceed (save Mr. Foulke). Sounds like another day at the Ferndale School Board.

"The most amazing part of this? The principal at Ferndale High admitted in his op-ed piece that the district doesn't even have plans for the new school! How do they know how much it will cost?

"Check it out! Time for the community to unequivocally provide the board with our answer!"

Walter Haugen:

"We will face about a 25 percent increase in our taxes! A resounding no vote from this farmer."

Larry Illman:

"A monopoly hardly ever runs efficiently. There is no real competition to drive better results. Over the past 40 years the public school test results have remained roughly flat and the cost has roughly doubled. Anyone know what the average teachers and administrators salaries have done over the same time period?

"Most things have come down in price over the years especially when one considers the vast improvement in most goods and services. Public School education is not one of them. Private industry must constantly strive for improvement in order to compete.

"I checked out a local private school for my grandson. Just under $6,000 a year. No transportation provided. The rich, including many of the same politicians that are blocking school choice, already send their children to private schools. Many in the working middle class would love to send their children to private schools but the financial burden is just too high as they still must pay their taxes that support the public schools and would then have the extra burden of the tuition itself."

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