To the MACCRAY community,
When working with kids in education I always told them to "Do your best." When looking at the current building referendum I asked myself, "Is this the best decision for MACCRAY?" Is this the best option for education? Is this the best choice financially? Is this the best option for the future of the district?" Sadly, I believe the answer is NO on all these questions.
Is this the best option for education? In the information provided there are many great educational goals and ideas. But most of these do not require 3 buildings to be accomplished and some of them could be accomplished easier with fewer buildings. Having 2 elementary sites will never be the best option for the elementary students. Our students deserve the best and that could be accomplished easier with one pre-K through 4 or pre-K through 8 building. Building one pre-K though 8 building would solve the overcrowding issue at the High School and is a sound education option.
Is this the best option financially? This option asks the taxpayers to approve 50+ million for improvements. What will we have for all that money? 3 old retrofitted, remodeled buildings. If this was a sound financial decision we would all the driving around cars built in the 1980-90s and wed just keep fixing them up. Our current buildings have served us well but we need to face the fact that its time to build new. Committing that amount of money to old buildings is not good use of our money. Lets quit kicking the can down the road and build a new building for the future. Have we seriously looked at the option of a pre-K though 8 building on a new site?
Is this the best for the future of the district? Not only are we committing a huge amount of money to fix the old buildings, we will then need to maintain and operate all these buildings. Energy costs will not be going down. Have we looked to the future at renewable energy? Geothermal, wind, and solar power are all options that should be looked at for long term cost savings. Having that much debt will tie our districts hands for 20-30 years to come.
So why are we voting on this option? Politics and old loyalties. Board members chose this option by trading off things each "side" wanted. One side would agree to the Board chairman if the other side agreed to support this option. Our students, the MACCRAY district and our taxpayers deserve better than this. We cannot move forward by continuing to look at our past. As emotional as this issue is, we need to look at what is best for MACCRAY educationally, financially, and what will lead us into the future.
I urge voters to vote NO to this option and have the school board find an option that is the best educationally, financially and one that will prepare the district for the future.
Yours in Education,
This is a paid endorsement letter to the editor.