Let’s find a positive solution to school buildings problem

In a recent letter to The Sounder, Mr. Chris Butler suggests that the school administration and board “don’t get it” when speaking to the issue of the vote in August that defeated the board’s second effort to have the community support a bond levy to repair and replace much of the school facilities which are in a state of great disrepair.

Many of Mr. Butler’s comments and those of other folks speaking to this issue have suggested that this bond would not have been necessary if the school had been properly maintained. That is probably true, at least to some extent. However, it is important to understand that the State Dept. of Education does not fund building maintenance from education monies. In fact, education in this state is so under-funded as to be an embarrassment.

Mr. Butler’s vitriol does not contribute anything to finding a solution to this dilemma. His diatribe might better be directed at the legislators in Olympia who have stonewalled this issue since my sons were in grade school. The people on the school board who generously donate their time and energy to the community and our young people are our neighbors and friends. Disrespecting their effort is unacceptable and begs for an apology from Mr. Butler.

It has been suggested that we, as a community, need to “step back and take a deep breath,” and come together to think of a better solution to the challenge. The problems identified in the school buildings will not go away nor magically repair themselves. Are we willing to have our youngest, most

vulnerable children attending classes in a building with inadequate heat, poor venilation, and failed plumbing? I think not!

So, let’s take that step back, meet with the board members and find a solution. Leave your negative thoughts behind and bring your creative energy to work with your neighbors and friends to fix these problems as economically, and practically as possible in order to provide the best educational environment that we are able in these unsettled times.

I will be there! Will you?

Ed Sutton

Orcas Island