How much do we care? How much pride in our community do we have? Where is our spirit? A large number of people have answered those questions by attending the Moses Lake School Board meetings and demanding that the board meet its responsibility to the citizens of Moses Lake. They care that our children have good schools, and they have the spirit and gumption to face power with facts.
As we all know, the voters of Moses Lake passed a bond last year to build a new high school, remodel the existing structure and build a new elementary school. We need these now. Now the school board is reneging on the wishes of the voters. I believe nearly everyone at the last school board meeting realizes the need for more school construction. But we need a new high school now. Can you believe a school built for 1,600 max, but housing more than 2,200 students with five lunch periods and classes from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. provides the best learning environment for our kids? Of course not. Build the new schools ASAP and get on with it.
Next we must realize that our growing community needs more schools. We need another bond to take care of our growing school population. Do we have pride in our community and in our schools? Kennewick does and look at the schools that have come online as their community has grown. Mead and Central Valley in the Spokane area do. In 2015 Central Valley passed a $121.9 million bond. And now they are asking for a $129.9 million bond. I know teachers from Moses Lake who have moved to Central Valley to teach in that system. The tax-conscious Spokane Home Builders Association has endorsed both bond requests. Arthur Whitten, the group’s government affairs director, recently wrote, “It is imperative for our community to vote yes on schools this February to continue public investment into new school construction to meet future capacity while adequately funding the programs that prepare our students for the careers available in our region.”
They know the importance of good schools. Do we care? Some disgruntled Moses Lakers went to court against our bond, bringing delays and adding to the controversy. Some farmers cry out about the unfairness of the property tax funding these bonds. The tax is regressive, but how many farmers worked to change the tax system to make it fairer? Hardy any.
Moses Lake is a growing community. Are we going to step up and pass bonds to build all the schools our children deserve, or are we going to sit back and watch other communities pass bonds, build schools and swell with pride and spirit?