Letters to the Editor

Schools: High school remodel doubted

Oak Harbor needs a wake up call regarding our high school. I challenge every single person that voted “yes” March 11 to go the high school, check in at the office as a visitor then visit the classrooms.

Count the students then count the books. Check the copyright dates on the books our youth are being taught from. Ask the teachers how they teach with limited materials. Ask what happens to the students who miss school and need to make up work. What do they do? There are not enough books to go around so there certainly are not enough to check out. The library holds even older books that students often have to check out for makeup work so they're using different books to perform the same work.

Oak Harbor High School has a lot of potential for expansion without incurring the enormous debt being proposed. The Oak Harbor School District has never properly budgeted for appropriate materials or maintenance to keep our youth supplied with adequate and up to date materials and safe, well maintained schools.

In an e-mail dated Feb. 3 from Superintendent Rick Schulte addressed to “Everyone,” Schulte answers the question “will the district adequately maintain all of its new and remodeled facilities?,” as follows: “Last year the district hired Dr. Jack Thompson to do an analysis and review of the district's maintenance and grounds operations. One of his finding was that the district spends less on maintenance than other comparable districts. We have further examined this using calculations based on dollars per square foot as well as dollars per student. However it is calculated, the district is spending about $150,000 less per year on maintenance than average.”

It doesn't take a mathematical genius to analyze this statement in common terms. The district doesn't spend the required dollars on maintenance and hence our schools are crumbling at our feet. If they do not budget to maintain the schools we have or supply our youth with adequate books and materials they desperately need now, how can they budget to maintain a larger school? Educational materials need to be a priority in Oak Harbor and unless the community demands the district to give this attention, our youths’ education will continue to be less than adequate.

Having good teachers in a new school is not going to educate anyone!

Give good teachers good materials and watch miracles happen even if they are in a shack! If an appliance breaks down or the plumbing springs a leak in your 30-year-old home do you tear it down and start from scratch to fix it? No, you perform repairs. Go to the high school “yes” voters before May. It’s a public school, it's your right to visit it and view what's there, after all we property owners have been paying for it.

Wendy Turner

Oak Harbor

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