It’s way past time to improve our schools in Marysville

  • Friday, January 24, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion

We get it – nobody likes to pay more taxes.

But we also know Marysville taxpayers have been getting off easy when it comes to paying for schools for at least three decades now.

It’s time to bite the bullet and approve the Feb. 11 levy to build two new schools and upgrade security at all of the others.

Marysville taxpayers are paying $930 a year for schools right now. Taxpayers in Snohomish, Everett and Edmonds pay at least twice that much. And some of those voters are being asked to pay even more with new bonds and levies next month.

For less than $2 a day, Marysville voters can pay for new Liberty and Cascade elementary schools, built in 1951 and 1955 respectively. The $120 million levy would be paid off in just six years. The hope is once we get used to paying that amount we would agree to keep paying it so more of our old schools could be replaced. That’s what most communities do.

The Marysville School District has passed just one building bond in 30 years. That was in 2006 when Grove Elementary and Marysville Getchell High schools were built. The last one passed before that was in 1990.

If you take a tour of Liberty and Cascade, you can see how much new buildings are needed. They have heating issues – radiators that don’t work and others that get too hot – so just the utility bill alone would see cuts with a new energy-efficient school. Parts aren’t even available for some of the equipment. Liberty even has asbestos in floors and walls, which should make us all nervous. The schools also don’t have the electrical capacity for technology. Voters decided a few years back that’s a priority locally – agreeing to and renewing special technology levies.

All our schools would get safety improvements – cameras and electronic access controls. In this age safety is such a concern in schools, unfortunately.

Why not remodel? Remember Lakewood a few years ago? They approved a bond to remodel the high school. But they found out a new one would be better. That’s what’s going on here.

When things get older they wear out. Taxpayers flipped the bill when we all went to school. We need to do the same.

We respect that the district is being open and honest about using a levy instead of a bond this time because they’re easier to pass. Sad but true. Most of us easily waste $2 a day on something. A small change in lifestyle could make it so that $2 isn’t wasted, but invested instead on our future.

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