Saturday, December 02, 2023

Polson School Bonds: I vote yes …

Editor | April 27, 2023 12:00 AM

On page 5, readers will hopefully notice and be inspired by the assembly of Polsonites who are voting for the Polson School District’s two bond issues. From the mayor to retirees to young parents and business owners, people are voicing their support for this third run at raising tax dollars to improve our schools.

I vote yes too, for reasons both practical and philosophical.

My kids both graduated from Charlo schools, so I’m not supporting this out of an innate loyalty to the Pirates. Instead, I feel an innate loyalty to kids, because, well, I like ‘em, and believe they deserve the best educational opportunities our community can provide.

My oldest son was at ease in the world of academics (he now teaches school) and my youngest would have flourished with the kind of job-training opportunities the high school addition will provide. I support creating a school environment that recognizes what teachers and parents already know: Not every kid learns in the same way.

I’m also casting a yes vote for teachers, and the hard work they do every day. The pandemic gave parents everywhere an insight into the challenges of trying to effectively shape young brains. In Linderman and Cherry Valley, kids are learning in hallways or modular classrooms, in the high school they also fill several mods. How is that sustainable in a community that’s growing?

And I vote yes for making our schools safer, especially in the wake of 14 school shootings so far this year and 158 such incidents since 2018 ( We don’t like to think that could happen here. So let’s do our part to make sure it doesn’t.

Finally, if we don’t do this, who will? Rightly or wrongly, school infrastructure improvements are paid for by local taxpayers. That’s us: parents, grandparents, retirees, the business community.

If we don’t foot the bill now, the cost of improving our schools will continue to go up. And the next time this issue rolls around (because it will), the price tag will be higher.

As the folks on the School Improvement Committee point out, after months of whittling away at any perceived excess: There are no frills left in these proposals. No glamor. No bells & whistles. Just a realistic approach to improving our schools today so tomorrow’s students will flourish.

If you’re not registered to vote, there’s still time to drop by the local elections office. If you haven’t sent your ballot back, there’s time to do that too. Plop it in the mail tomorrow (at the latest) or drop it off in the ballot box at the Election Office in the courthouse by 8 p.m. next Tuesday, May 2.

Please, don’t sit this one out. Our kids' futures depend on how you vote today.

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