Letter: Strong schools build a strong community | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Strong schools build a strong community

It’s been clear for many years now that our schools are at a crossroads.  Overcrowding has created deteriorating conditions, aging facilities are not meeting the needs of a modern school curriculum and inadequate pay for our teachers and staff is making it harder to keep these dedicated professionals living in the district that they serve.

This community defeated a school bond effort in 2015, but not because of a lack of support for these critical issues, but because it was a flawed plan. Of course, the defeat of that effort at the ballot box did nothing to address the challenges that the school district faced then and continues to face now, it only served to kick the can down the road.

A number of us who signed this letter were “no” votes on the 2015 bond, but each of us committed in our own way to put in the time and effort to build a better path forward for our kids and our working families. The last time Steamboat added a new school campus was 40 years ago, and it’s time to plan for the next 40 years.

There is no question that we live in a community that places great value in education and takes pride in the exceptional quality of our schools. We have one of the best school districts in the state, and not only do we want to keep it that way, we want to make it better.

Over the course of the last four years there has been enormous effort put into building support for a better solution. There were dozens of meetings to solicit feedback and direction from parents, teachers, business owners and elected officials. Over 2,500 people were surveyed. Dozens of potential facility plans were whittled down to one option for a new pre-K-8 school out west with improvements planned at each existing school campus to address some of the most pressing challenges at our existing facilities.

All the groups that have studied educational issues since 2015 have come to the same conclusion: The status quo is not working. It is time to stop kicking the can down the road. This year you will have an opportunity to vote for a plan that supports the growing demands of our schools, is fiscally responsible and is consistent with the community vision for how and where our community should grow.

Someone built each of us a school … it’s time to pay it forward.

Please join us in supporting 4A, 4B, and 4C.

Sara and Michael Craig-Scheckman             
Geoff Petis          
Jon Quinn
Steve Muntean
Anna White                                                              
Marcia Martin  
Brie Neppl
Eric Bender
Marty Lemansky
Michele Miller
Suzy Sayle
Wayne Adamo
Kandise Gilbertson                                            
Jessica Reagon                  
Kady Watson
Medora Fralick
Robin and Heather Craigen
Margie Huron

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