The Emporia School District is asking voters to approve a bond measure this month to pay for repairs and improvements to the nine Emporia schools.
The bond promises to make our schools safer and more secure, expand crowded learning spaces, create new multi-purpose rooms and make much-needed improvements and renovations to aging buildings.
Yes, it’s going to cost us something: $78 million, which breaks down to $33 a year on top of the current levy on property taxes for a $100,000 home.
But voting no will also cost us something:
Voting No will cost us better monitored and more secure entrances into our schools, something we can’t afford not to do.
Voting No will cost us the kind of quality education that comes with modern, up-to-date and effective spaces for excellent learning to happen as the student population grows. The new science wing at Emporia High School is just one of the new additions.
Voting No will cost our kids with special needs the unique kind of environments they need to thrive and grow.
Voting No will cost us the space needed for vital student support services like occupational and physical therapy and mental health counseling.
Voting No will cost us lots of wasted money in inefficient and energy-draining mechanical systems that need to be repaired or replaced throughout our schools.
And if that’s not enough, consider this:
We all know how frustrating drop-off and pick-up can be at some schools throughout the district. Voting No will cost parents the ease of improved pick-ups and drop-offs throughout the district. The bond promises to address the congestion and confusion that have become synonymous with traffic flows at some of our schools.
The proposed school bond is a well-researched, effectively-prioritized set of needs that are hard to argue. The fact is, Emporia public schools are funded by tax dollars. There’s no other way around it. But there are few investments that bring a higher return than one spent on the education of our young people.
The Emporia community and future depend on the investment we make today. We can’t afford to say no.
Watch for your ballot in the mail, vote YES to the school bond and don’t forget to mail in your ballot by Sept. 5!
Ashley Knecht Walker