Approve Referendum #52

Our kids need healthy schools now. Over half of the schools in Washington state were built before 1970. They are riddled with lead, mold, and asbestos, their energy consumption is unnecessarily high, and their ventilation is poor. How can we expect kids to learn while elevated CO2 levels impede their concentration, or when they are out sick because mold is aggravating their asthma?

Voters can help transition schools from unhealthy, inefficient spaces to safe, cost-effective learning environments by approving Referendum 52.

R-52 gets badly needed funding to districts statewide so that they can undertake crucial building improvements without sacrificing education dollars. The money will go towards projects like increasing energy efficiency, removing toxins, and increasing air circulation. The measure is economical – only those projects that will pay for themselves through energy cost reduction can qualify. It is equitable – a percentage of the funding will go to small districts (less than 1,000 students). Finally, it is going to create 30,000 new jobs in the construction sector. What’s not to like?

We can no longer allow such low standards in our school buildings. Let’s approve R-52 and give our kids healthier, more productive futures.

Nathan Yoffa