One school, one site
Lack of long-term, sustainable options, is why I have to vote against the CURRENT BOND. I will vote YES on a bond that considers long-term solutions and is fiscally responsible: ONE SITE.
In today's "whatever" society, passion is often lacking. What I appreciate about the people of Trenton and Culbertson: passion for education! Love it! Around here, we care about students, community; doing what's right.
I've worked with Hitchcock County Schools over the past 11 years and will attest that these students are the best around! They're a family, they've been through a lot this past year; their love for each other and school is exemplary.
These things are crucial to when deciding which way to vote, but the most important issue, in my opinion, is what makes the most long-term financial sense for the district and the students. What can we maintain and afford in the next 20-30 years? In our world of financial instability and budget cuts, I cannot understand why we go against the trend of business, industry, government and agriculture and vote for a bond that allocates funds for two facilities, without careful consideration of a solution for one. It is clear the school board wants to keep both communities happy, united, but it is their job to do what's right for the taxpayers and school district now and for decades to come.
Voters from the November election voted down a bond that supported spending at two sites.
Despite lowering the overall cost, the current bond still recommends spending at two locations. At the board meeting in March, a one-site option was presented, expected cost being $8.7 million; current bond= $7.4 million. I will never be convinced that the difference of $1.3 million could not be made up easily over a five-year period by investing and maintaining one facility.
Obviously, improvements are inevitable, but we have a chance to come together for a solution that is best for students now and years into the future. I'd love to see our population continue to rise, but even then, it seems financially irresponsible to maintain two sites to serve such a small population. We have to look at what works: Tri-County, Norris, Southeast NE Consolidated, and Southern Valley Schools, have all seen successful consolidations. Districts that have two to 10 times as many students as Hitchcock County have made the sustainable, long-term choice, to bring students together in one location to better serve them and the tax payers.
By definition: CONSOLIDATING- (Verb): 1. Make physically stronger/more solid. 2. Reinforce/strengthen (Merriam-Webster -- Dictionary 2011)
Consolidation has been proven to reduce overhead costs, increase feelings of unity, and improve customer/student service. We need to hold out for a bond that makes these a priority.
Voting NO doesn't mean I do not support Hitchcock County Schools, voting NO means I feel we need to explore a more long-term option.
I would campaign whole-heartedly to present a bond to voters that's financially responsible for years to come and supports investments into one location.
Voting NO simply means I WANT A BETTER OPTION.