The age and condition of Marietta school buildings is costing our students.
From a practical standpoint, the buildings are not energy efficient, they are costly to maintain and the money spent on constant repairs is money that's diverted from academic needs.
The current lack of technology and space is detrimental to students learning to their full capacity and handicaps the district in its efforts to attract top-notch teachers. Teachers at the top of their game know they can go elsewhere to find modern academic facilities that will enhance their ability to do their job, not hinder it.
The bond issue would fund the $48 million local share of a $78 million school construction project. The bond issue would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $140 a year. We think the cost is negligible when you consider what students and teachers will gain.
Don't hold them back any longer. Vote for a proposed bond issue to help pay for new school buildings in the Marietta City Schools District.
There are arguments against the bond issue and the district's overall plan. Concerns expressed by many parents are valid. One prominent concern is the loss of neighborhood elementary schools. But with enrollments on the decline, and the buildings getting older, it doesn't make sense to continue to operate individual elementary schools. The district started the process of consolidating elementary students years ago with the closings of Fairview, North Hills and Oak Grove schools. Enrollment isn't growing, it's declining, and it makes sense to see that consolidation continue.
Some have argued the district should simply renovate the schools rather than replace them. But the reality is that help isn't available from the state to renovate because the elementary schools would require too much work. That being said, the longer new construction is delayed, the more costly it becomes. If we are truly looking to the future of the district, and want the best future for our students, the answer won't be found in fixing up buildings that have outlived their use. Just because Harmar Elementary School was good enough 20 years ago doesn't mean it passes muster today. The "good enough for me, good enough for you" argument isn't going to cut it any longer.
The plight of the school district is directly related to the ability of local officials to attract businesses and residents to the area. A district that puts students first by giving them the environment and the classes they need to be challenged and succeed will be much more attractive in helping the community grow on the economic front. New schools can attract new businesses and workers, and that can mean an increase in jobs and revenue coming to local governments and schools.
Consider what you want for students and for the future of this community. Vote yes for the Marietta City Schools bond issue on Tuesday.