High school status or status quo: Which?
The College Place School Board has proposed a school bond to upgrade its schools, including a public high school.
The School Board should be commended for pledging to return excess bond money to taxpayers through debt reduction. Exemplary action!
This is an opportune timing for College Place to become a "high school district".
If College Place doesn't pass this high school building bond, it will remain a "non-high school district."
So - College Place remains "non-high." Now what?
Overcrowding will cause the Walla Walla School District to propose a school bond (somewhere between $40 million and $60 million) to renovate and/or build high schools.
If that bond passes, College Place will pay its share of that bond for years, plus annual fees for each student attending Walla Walla high schools.
If the Wa-Hi bond fails (which is likely), overcrowding at Wa-Hi will still be problematic. More taxation to educate nonresidents is not a Walla Walla taxpayer priority.
Bond failure might cause the Walla Walla School District to say it will no longer "mutually agree" to educate College Place students. "Mutual agreement" is required by Washington state Statute RCW 28A.540.110.
If the "mutual agreement" to educate is rescinded because of overcrowding, College Place would probably have two choices: build or mandatory consolidation.
Is consolidation into the Walla Walla School District acceptable to College Place residents?
Current status: The Walla Walla School District will continue to own 100 percent of its high schools, even though College Place residents pay millions to partially construct those schools and continuously pay annual per student attendance fees.
It's almost like a renter paying part of a home construction cost and then paying rent to use it.
In the current construction arrangement, College Place owns nothing but canceled checks that they pay for constructing Walla Walla High Schools.
College Place must choose: Remain an unidentifiable part of Walla Walla high schools and pay millions for nonrefundable construction costs and attendance fees to Walla Walla.
Or establish a College Place High School (with state financial help) administered by the College Place School Board.
High schools are a source of city pride in education, sports, music and other accomplishments.
If College Place builds a high school, it won't be long before students say with pride, "I graduated from College Place High" or possibly a catchy name like "CP-Hi."