I have some real concerns about the school bond. The plan overbuilds 900 more seats than there are K-5 students in the district, and 700 more than are ever projected to live here. Why are we funding future imaginary friends when our current kids have real needs in their schools?

Here’s one example of overbuilding: Warren and Smith would get eight times as much in bond proceeds as Bryant, Hawthorne and Kessler combined. Yet, Warren and Smith have fewer kids in their attendance areas. Why add 200 extra seats at Smith and 100 extra seats at Warren? Three hundred imaginary children will get a great school. But 612 actual, real, live students at Bryant, Hawthorne and Kessler will get a school that still has millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and life/safety issues not covered in this bond.

The administration says they are overbuilding for special programs. What I’ve heard them talk about for the last three years is closure and consolidation and how our operating budget isn’t big enough to pay for more programs. Let’s do right by all kids -- especially the real, live, breathing ones. Vote no on this bond!

Janet Andrew

Helena

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