Editorial | Students encourage YES vote on 329 bond

The voters of USD 329 should vote YES on the latest bond issue.

The latest attempt to pass a bond has been met with a variety of responses from the community. We have a different perspective than many community members, because we spend every day inside the school buildings.

First of all, the bond has many benefits — students will take more pride in a renovated school, safety would be improved, the district saves money in the long run and the schools could provide more educational opportunities with K-12 students in one location.

The bond isn’t a perfect solution in every way, but without writing a blank check, there is no way to solve every problem. A couple disagreements with the initial plans shouldn’t distract us from the big picture of the necessity of further investment in the district.

There are lots reasons that voters have cited to oppose the bond. We’d like to address a few of them, and encourage people not to vote against the bond for these reasons.

Don’t vote against the bond purely because your kids don’t go to Wabaunsee or because they have graduated. It’s not only about your children — it’s about all of the kids in the community, and the fact that every single one of them deserves a quality education. If your children are WHS graduates, then have some pride in the school that educated your children. It is a bad look if the school your kids graduated from is in shambles a few years after your kid received their diploma. As current students, we probably won’t get to enjoy learning in renovated buildings, but as some of us decide where to raise our families in the coming years, the educational environment will definitely affect us in the future.

Don’t vote against the bond because you haven’t been inside of the school buildings. Schools are a lot like people, what’s on the inside matters most. Although our school might not look bad from the outside, our ceilings are falling down, water stains are everywhere, and if you get lucky enough you might get to feel a little breeze accompanied by rain in the upstairs classrooms. A majority of voters haven’t recently been inside the high school, but anyone who walks through the doors can see that the building is crumbling right in front of us. Voters, please don’t vote against the bond because you’ve never been in our buildings. Take it from the students who spend practically their whole lives here.

Please don’t vote no just because you don’t want your taxes raised. A small increase in taxes is a worthwhile price to pay to get our students, the future adults of this world, quality education in a quality building. There are few causes better for our taxes to go to than education for our community’s youth. We don’t want to sound flippant here, because money is a serious issue, and we’re sure it’s a big part of the decision process for a lot of voters, but better schools can also help property values, and savings in the long run will also benefit taxpayers. It’s more complicated than just increased taxation. Some have said that we shouldn’t have a say, because we don’t pay property taxes, but our families do, and we will if we stay in the community. We definitely have skin in the game.

Please don’t vote no because you don’t want the schools in Maple Hill or Paxico to close or you’re still mad that schools combined 30 years before any current students were born. If the bond fails, the school will face tough decisions that could still close those buildings. We think it would be better to send those students somewhere better than where they currently attend. 

Don’t vote against the bond because your questions aren’t answered. If you’re feeling lost and confused, there are many sources to get your information. You can go through the school website, there’s a facebook group dedicated to answering questions, the district has held several informational meetings in each town and you’re able to contact all board members through their emails as well as superintendent Troy Pitsch. Don’t vote against it just because you have questions. Lots of people will give you the answers. If something is still unclear, email us at whscharger@gmail.com — we’ll track down the answer for you.

While the Charger staff supports the bond, we don’t want to say that no voters don’t care about kids, or that there aren’t valid concerns for the future of our district, but we believe the current bond is the best option for securing that future. 

We encourage voters to mark yes on their ballots next week.

The editorial is the opinion of the Charger staff. Students discuss editorial topics as a group and write an opinion that represents a majority of the staff.

Send letters to the editor to whscharger@gmail.com.

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