Background – If you look at the graphic image on the left you will note that the bond program date is 2017. But wait…it’s April of 2022. Why is the date wrong? It’s not. Ridgefield has been requesting various capital bonds since 2017. Some they’ve won and others they’ve lost.
This current attempt is a repeat of the failed February 2022 bond. Prior to that another attempt was made and failed. So what you ask? As the guest writer points out in todays article it appears the Ridgefield School Board and district leadership doesn’t hear the public’s answer.
Ridgefield School District Leaders Need To Start Listening To Parents & Voters
When the Ridgefield School District (RSD) met up after the first $63 million dollar bond failed they decided to move ahead without voter support. Imagine that… without voter support they went forward and then bragged about it in their statement of support written in the voters’ pamphlet by acknowledging that they’ve already “prepped the site using developer impact fees.”
Voting to reject the Ridgefield School District bond is to want a better yet economical education for our children. COVID-19 has affected everyone, including our schools, but the fallout is still unknown. More than 55,000 students have been pulled from Washington schools and no one knows how many are coming back. Yet, Ridgefield continues to focus on expanding expensive school facilities, claiming the need based on the potential of student headcount projections which have been wildly high and incorrect in the past.
Just a few months ago the bond didn’t pass in the last election, but instead of producing a lower cost plan, RSD decided to put the SAME bond forward. This time, with threats of cutting services to students and parents.
RSD has a passion for building elaborate facilities rather than educating our children which is shown in the 2021 OSPI standard testing in which scores have dropped in ALL subjects. Voters have been, for the most part, generous and have paid for expensive expansions in the past, but it hasn’t equated to better education. Sadly, RSD doesn’t respect parents or acknowledge the fact that our nation is in a downward spiral economically and just can’t afford going $62 million more in debt. By the way, what RSD is putting forward isn’t the full and true costs. After fees and interest the total is going to be over $80+ million dollars.
RSD needs to partner with and respect the voters, reduce spending regarding building needs, put attention towards basic education, wait to see the fallout of COVID withdrawals, and revise growth projections based on new economic realities that are still unfolding. VOTE NO ON THIS CAPITAL BOND AGAIN.
Expensive buildings don’t equate better education. No doubt that growth is happening in Ridgefield and that needs to be addressed but RSD has a bigger problem… not listening to taxpayers regarding the education of our children. Inflation and the economy is in a freefall, and RSD must tighten their belt not go on a spending spree.