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Valerie Fiske, Published March 21 2010

We need big vote for West Fargo schools

The yellow and black is under attack! The “Vote Yes” signs are popping up all over town. This has spurred the “vote no” group into action.

The loudest group is not in favor of two high schools – not now, not ever. They are using scare tactics, such as telling people that the current bond contains no money for practice facilities, teachers, coaches, etc. and that our new high school will be a bare-bones building. This is simply not true.

Bond referendums are for building expenses. Those other expenses are covered through the general fund. The majority of our funds are generated on a per-student basis, so more students mean more money. The majority of our expenses follow that same trend: We need more teachers, more administrators, more square footage, etc.

What we need right now is more space in configurations that make sense for student learning and achievement. We are busing students all over the district, reconfiguring boundary lines and increasing transitions in order to deal with the over-crowding.

This is going to continue to be an even bigger problem as class sizes continue to increase, forcing solutions such as portable classrooms (at a cost of $4,000 per seat).

We cannot vote on any plan for a full year if this fails on Tuesday. We need every “yes” vote counted to obtain a two-thirds majority. The “no” group only needs to bring in a little more than one-third to defeat these efforts.

Please vote “yes”!