LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Yes, input is needed on Wa-Hi project

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The superintendent of Walla Walla Public Schools has called for public input on rebuilding Walla Walla High School.

Input is needed. A $60 million Wa-Hi renovation is ridiculous.

Our superintendent is spending an inordinate amount of time on grandiose ideas for Wa-Hi. He shouldn't spend so much time trying to make a big spending program sound needed and palatable, hoping we will once again tax ourselves beyond reason.

Maybe our school administrators should focus more on quality education and graduation percentages for our students. A desirable goal for Wa-Hi would be to become one of the top five schools in the state scholastically.

After the debacle in the aftermath of the Edison School building program I had hoped the School Board would be ashamed to push another school bond for at least 10 years.

That debacle included the multi-million dollar inflation of the Edison bond, with the seemingly predetermined intent of spending the excess funds elsewhere; the spending of the $3.5 million Edison state matching dollars (without voter approval) on an unrelated project that the voters rejected a short time earlier; and the refusal of the School Board to return excess bond money to the taxpayers.

Let me repeat an earlier suggestion that would eliminate the overcrowding at Wa-Hi.

Notify College Place that in five years we will no longer educate its high school students, thus giving it time to build its own high school. If the 412 College Place students attended high school in College Place, rather than Walla Walla, it would take care of Wa-Hi overcrowding.

We've been told State Statute RCW 28A.540.110 requires Walla Walla (a high district) to educate College Place high school students (a nonhigh school district) as long as certain requirements are met.

Let me quote an informative sentence from State Statute RCW 28A.540.110.

"In cases where high school students resident in a nonhigh school district are to be educated in a high school district, the board of directors of the nonhigh school district shall, by mutual agreement with the serving district(s), designate the serving high school district or districts which its high school students shall attend."

The pertinent words in that quote are "shall, by mutual agreement." Let's no longer mutually agree to educate College Place high school students. They are a growing, progressive city with a huge tax base quite capable of taking care of themselves.

More input later as needed.

Vern Filan

Walla Walla

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