The school bond issue that we have before us creates big winners and big losers within our school district.

The winners will be those students who will attend new or intensively renovated schools with healthy ventilation, good light, flexible spaces and furnishings, modern playgrounds and capacity to host new technology.

What’s wrong with this rosy winning scenario is that it will apply to fewer than half of all our K-8 kids. While the five big schools and Central will share $60 million, a total of $8 million from this bond is to be spread among the remaining seven neighborhood and middle schools. This irresponsible allocation of bond proceeds leaves many generations of kids in schools that will continue to have maintenance and life safety problems. These kids will not attend schools with healthy ventilation, good light, flexible spaces and furnishings, modern playgrounds and capacity to host new technology.

This facilities bond creates a win/lose conflict by its very design. Big schools at Warren and Smith are not called for. Other expenditures can be scaled back. We can design a plan to create safe, healthy and educationally appropriate schools for all our kids.

We need to step back and do the planning with each school neighborhood and the community as a whole included in the discussion. Let’s look at what kind of community we want and where we want our schools to be.

Think before you vote! Vote no on this bond and let’s develop a plan in which all kids are winners.

Nancy Nicholson

Helena

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