To the editor
I am excited to be part of a group of community members that support the upcoming school bond for USD453. While I was unfortunately unable to be part of the vision group whose collaboration created the bond proposal (which has been presented to the school board in great detail), I feel fortunate to have learned from members of the vision group and have come to know, understand and appreciate what is on the ballot for Leavenworth voters. Is this bond issue perfect? No. It is, however, the best balance of current and future needs vs. what we are able to ask for.
The amount of misinformation that is being spread by folks is appalling. So much smoke and distraction has been sent out both via social media and in letters to the editor. The district's website has had all of the information on this bond issue. The details of the plan have been presented to the board members and those community members who attended those meetings. The school district held multiple meetings over two days to go over the bond issue. Members of the Vote Yes Committee announced two meetings via social media and held those in public forum to answer questions about the bond issue for Leavenworth residents and present the facts.
Those who did attend were able to get details and really learn about the needs our schools, teachers and students have in this district. Thank you so much for those who attended. This bond plan wasn't tossed together at random, in a hurry or at the last minute. The plan that has been presented to voters came about after years of work and with the collaborative input of parents, teachers, staff, board members and community members. This isn't the work of USD 453. This is the result of work done by Leavenworth's own family – invested in our children's education. If we are to vote this down we face redistricting.
If we vote this down we won't be able to go for another bond without raising taxes. If we waited for the general election, we'd miss out on the funds available this year and we'd miss out on it being tax neutral. My two children would both benefit from the fruit of the community's labor should this bond pass. The eldest would have a much easier and safer middle school experience. He is entering sixth grade this coming year and I'm honestly very nervous about the overcrowding and safety issues at Warren. During fifth grade night, I was able to see for myself how crowded this school is.
The library has even been cut in half. For those of our children who may be “non-neuro-typical” in a sensory, behavioral or attention sort of way, severe overcrowding at the middle school level is a great concern. If you haven't watched the podcast presented about this, go check it out on the district's website. My youngest child would be able to simply flourish in the type of early childhood education center that is proposed for Lawson. The elder son went to Lawson from prekindergarten to fifth grade. We've loved our years at Lawson and have formed good relationships with the teachers and staff there.
Giving that school the opportunity to focus on our early learners and allowing the staff that would be there the opportunity to specialize in early childhood education will be one huge benefit to the Leavenworth school district. Once you know the details, voting yes is the most logical thing to do. There is a great group of parents and community members who are dedicated to not just seeing this bond pass, but also making sure we're holding our school board accountable for making sure the plan is followed through. Don't believe the misinformation or the illusions that are being painted.
The school board members were given great detail and opportunity to assist with the bond plan creation and almost every question they had was met with an answer or an alternate plan. Simply avoiding meetings or not showing up to fulfill your obligations to our kiddos and our schools is unacceptable. Vote yes and help propel USD 453 into the future of education.