In response to Al Stilman's recent letter:
I live in the College Place School District. It has smaller schools and smaller class sizes. This allows educators to know students better, assist them more and communicate with parents.
The reverse argument is the overcrowding of Walla Walla High School as evidenced by the use of increased portables. This overpopulation will increase as Walla Walla grows.
Regardless, this bond will not increase those class sizes, but will increase them at the crucial elementary school level when Davis is condemned.
Upon failure, students will be bused to Walla Walla, increasing that cost through the purchase of buses, fuel consumption and upkeep. The amount paid to Walla Walla by College Place will also increase.
Larger schools' experience higher rates of dropout than smaller schools. This is a gamble we should not be willing to take in the lives of our youths and the necessity of their education. We can bus, increase class sizes and possibly increase dropout rates all in the name of "it's not the right time."
When will it be the right time for our children? Bonds proposed in 1998, 2004 and 2009 all attempted restructure in various ways to meet the needs of the students and failed for varying reasons.
We have run out of excuses. The cost of rebuilding the district is high, but so is the value of our children. It is the entire district, rebuilding Davis, converting Meadowbrook and remodeling Sager before it is too decrepit to salvage.
By not passing this bond, the community is at risk of losing the district.
What will people see when they research College Place as a place to call home? A city that buses students to overcrowded schools or a community that offers smaller class sizes. Property value will decrease with the loss of Davis but how far will it decrease with the loss of the district?
Its failure will give Walla Walla a foothold on a bond that should include restructuring of elementary schools to encompass the influx of Davis students. What will that cost look like?
What will that bond increase do for the added requirements due to the probable influx of Meadowbrook and Sager students if the school district is obliterated?
All told, I am comfortable in stating that the total will exceed $2.70 per $1,000. It is a cost that would last far more than the 20 years it will take to pay this bond proposal.