By Marsha Williams, Gig Harbor
Did you see the hundreds of names of supporters of the school bond in last week’s Peninsula Gateway?
Those folks know that their yes vote is not just for properly housing our students but is an investment in a strong and proud community, own community.
By Peter Nash, Gig Harbor
The group opposing the Peninsula school bond, Responsible Taxation of Citizens (RTC), ignores basic economics in their proposed “Better Way.”
They claim no overcrowding exists because they ignore state definitions and don’t differentiate portables from permanent buildings. In fact, we have two schools worth of kids in temporary structures.
RTC argues new schools aren’t needed yet propose a levy to build a new school and re-build another.
By Mark Burcar, Gig Harbor
As a Peninsula School District graduate, I received an excellent education that allowed me to pursue my dream of flying and become a pilot for a major airline. As careers like aviation, engineering and other skilled professions become more competitive, our kids must have a strong foundation of skills that begin in elementary school.
By Robert J. Martin, M.D.-retired and Jan Martin, Gig Harbor
We need to do better for our kids! We, you and I, elected a school board to represent us and make difficult decisions to keep the Peninsula School District healthy and viable.
The board is telling us we have an overcrowding crisis and need two new elementary schools, plus Artondale and Evergreen are past repair and need replacement. The board has assured us the bond will not increase our tax rate and is the best way to fund these capital needs.
A levy would increase our tax rate and would not make money immediately available for construction and therefore is not a good choice. When we were deciding where to live 42 years ago, schools were a very important factor.
By Justin Stiefel, Gig Harbor
Bonds are the most fiscally responsible funding mechanism for school construction. They result in the lowest property tax rate per $1,000 for property owners.
If the Peninsula school bond passes, a $400,000 home would be taxed $320 for the entire year. As home values rise the rate goes down, protecting those on fixed incomes now and into the future.
There is some pushback from the darkest corners of the community using innuendo to criticize the school board, creating the impression of malfeasance and misuse of school funds. When asked for proof they produce none.
By Shawn Jensen, Guest Columnist - Key Peninsula News
SCHOOL CAPITAL BOND
On Feb. 12, we will be asked to approve a Peninsula Schools capital bond measure focused on the most pressing need—overcrowding—in a district that has not built a new elementary school since 1992.
You may be asking, why the shift in focus from the 2018 bond proposal? The simple answer is local school districts are responsible for constructing local facilities to meet the instructional needs of local citizens. Over nearly 16 years Peninsula School District (PSD) voters have rejected five capital measures for facilities. Because of those failures, current 2018 to 2019 elementary enrollment in the district is currently 690 students beyond the capacity of the existing 148 permanent classrooms.
By Patricia Scott, Home
When I first moved to the Key Peninsula as the principal of Peninsula High School in 1997, I was impressed by the area’s beauty, but I soon came to be more impressed by the people of this community. We have come together over and over again to resolve local issues and problems.
The upcoming school bond addresses an education crisis in our community, and I implore our neighbors to come together again to pass this bond. It is no longer a conversation about “prettier” versus “more functional.” One or two portables may have been inconvenient, but one-third of classrooms in portables, professionals trying to teach students in hallways and closets, and overcrowded central areas means our facilities are more stressful, less effective environments for children and teachers.
By Bob Anderson, Gig Harbor
I want to apologize to my grandchildren for not getting involved in the bond campaign last April. Frankly, I expected it to pass. I come from a generation when there was strong support for education and schools.
I was unaware the Peninsula School District contends with a small political action committee that makes a game of opposing every measure the school board places on the ballot, always insisting their own ideas are better and should be adopted instead.
Fifteen years have passed since the last bond was approved. The need is greater every year.