To the editor:
Though involved in the bond planning as a consultant, I write this as a parent and community member. In my opinion, Tuesday night’s school bond town hall meeting failed to present equally thoughtful arguments on both sides of the issue. One side was an argument supporting a thorough plan moving Lawrence schools forward. The other an ad hoc argument voiced on behalf of Americans for Prosperity, apparently formulated to misdirect, with little understanding of the bond process or details.
For example, the opposition’s appeal to increase teacher pay tapped into a common school funding misperception — that capital/bond dollars could be used for payroll, something state law prohibits. Its appeal for consolidation ignored three years of intensive analysis from two community groups, professional consultants, board members and district administration. Our community rejected consolidation because it’s not feasible due to cost, logistics, projected population growth and Lawrence’s commitment to our neighborhood schools. Consolidation would negatively impact our schools’ primary mission — education.
If Americans for Prosperity were really interested in improving student outcomes, it would recognize the bond improves classroom environments, allows teachers to teach the way kids really learn and supports the district’s robust, strategic education goals.
To those considering voting no, please don’t. Your “no” vote won’t hurt an abstract entity known as the “district.” It will hurt people you see every day: our kids, teachers, homeowners, business owners, all of us. As the opposition stated, Lawrence is better than that. That’s why I hope you’ll join me and others voting “yes” on April 2.