Letters to the editor

Vote yes

Vote yes for Arlington schools. I urge you to support all three propositions. As parents, we put the trust in our schools to educate and prepare our children to be a knowledgeable and productive member of our community. Nowhere else do you have such a dramatic way to show your support than by supporting funding to replace Post Middle School, along with supporting a Capital and EP&O levy.

Post is long past its ability to provide the most-secure and up-to-date learning environment. The staff does an incredible job, making the most of what it has to provide a safe and productive learning environment. It’s time to show your support and vote yes on Proposition 3.

Our Capital levy is needed to modernize and secure the other buildings in the school district. It’s time we step up and replace 30-year-old carpet, add fire sprinklers, and provide a secure entry to each school. That levy will allow for the addition of classrooms at Arlington High School. AHS is projected to have more than 150 more students in the next few years, and the school is already at capacity.

The Education Program and Operations Levy is the way the community shows our direct support for schools. The McCleary decision still does not provide all of the funding needed to keep all of the staff and programs our community deserves and has always supported.

Michael Ray, Arlington

Vote no

For the fourth time in two years, the Arlington School District is proposing a bond ($71.5 million) to be repaid over 21 years.

Homeowners are still paying a 20-year school construction bond. If this proposal passes, we will add another 21 years of bond payments – or 41 consecutive years – without a break.

The district claims the bond will cost an average of approximately 90 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. That comes to $297 per year for the average $329,000 city home and $413 for the average $459,000 unincorporated area home each year for 21 years. The district is also proposing a new Capital Levy for 2021-24 at rates between $1.13 and $1.15 per $1,000. The county states that other property taxes in Arlington city will be going up 7.2% and in the unincorporated areas 10% in 2020. That represents an additional $200 per year for the average city home and $459 per year for the average unincorporated-area home. Those increases will not likely be reduced next year if the new bond goes into effect. “Repeated recruitment attempts” to obtain an “Against” statement? I submitted one for the February 2019 pamphlet, my contact info has not changed, and I heard from no one.

Give yourself some tax relief. Please vote no on the Arlington School Bond (Prop. 3).

Joseph Amma, Arlington

Please vote

By now you’ve probably been inundated with information about the importance of voting yes for the three measures on the ballot that support Arlington Public Schools. I could list them here (safety, space at the high school, nurses, paraeducator jobs, a new Post Middle School, etc) but I mainly want to remind you that this is a critical election and is one where you have 5,600 school-age children counting on you to cast your vote. Those students are the ones who will grow up and call Arlington their home, the town they grew up in, the town where they went to school and had all those experiences that adults treasure and remember ourselves. These life-shaping experiences will be made possible by you, the voter with a yes vote for schools. We need every adult to think back about their school experiences and then do something that will make a future student’s experience better. A single yes vote can make that happen not just for one student but thousands who will benefit every year when they have a safe place they can learn and a teacher to guide them. Ballots must be postmarked by Feb. 11 — no stamp necessary, just vote and mail. So make a difference, pay it forward, and support the future of our community.

Marc Rosson, Arlington

We’re blessed

Our community is blessed to have a great education system. To ensure exceptional schools, we need to make sure our system works for everyone. As a parent in our community and principal of Post Middle School, I will support the bond and levies. I hope others do the same.

Our facility is not able to provide for the learning and safety of our kids. Our district maintenance and technology teams spend hours helping us run smoothly. That includes the monitoring of heating and cooling pumps in 22 locations and the maze of electrical fixes we have developed each year. We also need regular major remodeling work done. That has included mitigating the asbestos, not a problem when the school was built, to fabricating new doors where old ones have not stood the test of time.

The staff works tirelessly to build students with strong academic and character skills. Each day 650 students look to me for guidance and safety; I know that in our building we cannot provide the level of protection society demands. Our community needs to lift some of this burden. Vote yes on all three Arlington School District measures.

Voni Walker, Arlington

Affordable now

As Arlington High School principal I have a front-row seat at the amazing work our staff is doing. I am proud of the education our kids are receiving. Prop. 1 is not an increase – it was reduced as a result of a school board that gets fiscal responsibility. It is our day-to-day operations fund, and it is critical for learning. Prop. 2 is a capital ask from voters to add a STEM space and eight classrooms to AHS, along with much-needed safety updates. The district decreased the term of debt from a bond to a levy that will expire in 2024 and added $1.15 per $1,000 in assessed value during that time. The final ask is to replace Post Middle School. Tour the building – fixing the existing site is not the way to go. It’s affordable if we act now. From 2020-40, there is a small increase to our local funding that is worth the investment for our kids. See the impact at asd.wednet.edu/2020_levies_and_bond. Duane Fish, Arlington