To the Editor
April 10, 2012
Issaquah School District bond
A yes vote improves learning environment for 17,000 students
I am an 11th-grade student at Skyline High School and on behalf of my peers I urge and implore you to vote for the Issaquah School District’s capital bond.
You have doubtlessly heard about the virtues of the capital bond from various respected figures in the community, ranging from City Council members to state legislators. However, they are not affected by the capital bond as my peers and I are. Seventeen thousand of my peers are relying on your vote to improve the conditions of our schools, to maximize our potential and to make our educational experience the best it can be.
It may seem that making costly improvements to stadiums is a silly waste of money that could be spent on other things, but athletics is exceptionally important to my peers; it builds character, and brings in extra revenue and press to the school district. It may seem that rebuilding Clark Elementary, Issaquah Middle and Sunny Hills elementary schools is a waste of our money when there are cheaper alternatives, but fixing the problems with those schools now will prevent us from having to take a costlier path to fix the problems later. And it may seem that your taxes will increase with this bond, but they will actually decrease. There are no losers when you vote yes.
It may seem that the capital bond is not the right option, but that is not the truth. I have been a part of the bond process from nearly the very beginning, having served on the Capital Bond Feasibility and Development Committee during my sophomore year, and I understand the importance of having this bond passed. It is my hope that you, too, will understand that the bond should be passed.
When you get your ballots in the mail, vote yes for the capital bond and support me and my peers in our struggle to achieve our full potential, compete in a global economy and be the best that we can be.
Carefully constructed bond reflects the values of our community
Our community benefits from excellent schools and excellent teachers. There is a connection between the two. Over many years, I listened to why new teachers chose Issaquah schools over those of other districts, and I heard them name the facilities provided for our children as one of the top reasons. Our schools not only provide environments that facilitate learning and stimulate creativity, they are also a reflection of the value our community places on education.
A citizen’s committee, after careful consideration, recommended a bond package to the school board, which carefully weighed this investment against the need to replace old buildings, protect and maintain our community assets, ensure the usability and safety of our facilities, accommodate future capacity and provide optimal learning environments. It reflects the values of our community and respects our ability to invest in our future.
I urge you to vote yes on the April 17 Issaquah School District Construction and Maintenance Bond.
Funds would improve facilities, better utilize others still in use
We moved to Issaquah in 1994 for its public schools, location and sense of community. Our kids are in middle and high school now, and we still congratulate ourselves for that smart decision.
Issaquah will be even better with the April school bond. It’s a timely investment in our schools that tackles several key issues.
One issue is Issaquah Middle School, an open campus built in 1955 with the high heating bills to prove it. The bond offers a thoughtful, coordinated plan to rebuild IMS next to the high school (perfect!), reuse part of the IMS campus to build a larger Clark Elementary School, and reuse a separate part of IMS to house Tiger Mountain Community High and enable it to support new career and tech programs.
With all the stretching of school dollars, I also appreciate that the bond addresses significant maintenance needs in our school buildings so these needs won’t pull dollars from our classrooms. We can gain all this and more, and watch our property tax rate decrease thanks to being in a school district that is a careful steward of tax money.
The school bond is a great opportunity for Issaquah. Please vote yes!
Camille Vaska, Issaquah
Parent volunteer, Issaquah public schools
Newer buildings make for better learning
I’m writing this letter in support of the Issaquah School District Bond.
Readers are undoubtedly aware of some of the reasoning behind voting for the bond — reasons like ensuring that the investment made in public schools is maintained for future generations; that property values increase with the excellence of the school district’s performance; the fact that our district has been able to keep our construction costs low and still create state-of-the-art facilities. These are very important reasons.
On a more elementary note, however, is the fact that the newer buildings in the district are bright and safe and comfortable, and provide an excellent learning environment for our students. They are home-away-from-home to our more than 1,000 educators and word gets around.
A comment I often hear from teachers new to Issaquah — but who have worked previously in other districts — is what wonderful facilities Issaquah has. The heat works, the ceilings don’t leak, playgrounds and commons areas are safe and inviting. Educators and students are not distracted by maintenance and safety issues. The focus of their day can be directed on teaching and learning.
Now it’s time to bring our older buildings up to the same level of quality as the newer ones — so all of our students have the same excellent learning environment. You, the voters, can make this happen.
Our schools are a vital part of the Issaquah community. Please vote yes on the Issaquah School District Bond.
Phyllis Runyon, president
Issaquah Education Association