Phyllis Brandt, Gig Harbor
“This community has high-quality schools.” As a high school and middle school counselor for 22 years in the Peninsula School District, I often heard this opinion from parents of students whom I registered upon entering our schools.
This has made us proud that the Gig Harbor area is known to value education for our children and willing to support the associated costs. I would say due to the competence and dedication of teachers and staff this opinion still rings true. About our school buildings…. not so much.
Over the years I have heard the same tirades dredged up as reasons to defeat a bond vote: money mismanagement; let’s put this off; now isn’t the time.
Are we as a community OK with our schools’ leaking roofs, inadequate fire safety systems, students schooled in portables which cannot be secured against an intruder? Are we content in knowing we will need 22 additional classrooms in two years and then voting down finding to build a new elementary school?
Should we put off maintenance to heating and cooling systems, knowing that deferred maintenance costs more in the long run? Can we really continue to think “this community has high-quality schools,” when the need for enhanced learning environments for science, performing arts, career and technical classes is so crucial – which other communities around us have done – and we haven’t?
Will this remain a community that values and supports high quality schools? Vote Yes on April 24.
This is a transcript of a letter to the editor originally posted in the Peninsula Gateway Vol 101 No 13 from March 29 or 2018