Busing is on the ballot

Editor:

Busing is on the ballot this year.

The Washington Community School Corporation intends to bus fifth and sixth graders to a location south of South Side School instead of continuing in neighborhood schools. In the new school they would combine with seventh and eighth graders to form a double-decker junior high.

For many parents and students, fifth and sixth grades in the elementary schools permit important rites of passage such as walking or bicycling unsupervised to school. Lena Dunn, in particular, is a family-friendly neighborhood school with no highways nearby endangering pedestrian traffic. Most new families who move to town with young children live in Dunn school district. Research shows K-8 schools educate better than 5-8 middle schools.

The school corporation wants tens of millions of new taxpayer dollars to bus and school hundreds of West End kids and other neighborhood children to an experiment very far from their homes, down a narrow lane off Highway 50. A tiny fraction of those funds would be better spent in our town constructing sidewalks and bicycle lanes, particularly enroute to Lena Dunn. We also have a longstanding park project pending at the former McCord’s/Tokheim property under the public trust. This has been made clear in recent public hearings of city as well as school board officials.

When voting, let’s keep our priorities in mind whether Washington should say NO to busing or YES to busing our fifth-graders all over town. The school corporation promised 10 years ago that some $25 million would fix the Jr./Sr. High School. Now they’re doubling down. Vote NO.

Keith Ellis, Washington

Experiencing hospitality

Editor:

Just saw two students I have met earlier at church. They were beautifying our library. Glad that churches, academic clubs, and ROTC encourage this type of community involvement (also good to see whole families help).

Kudos to the library and those students greeting library patrons with a “Hello.” Glad to see and experience hospitality at our library.

Barb Duncan (Gentry), Washington

Investment for the future

Editor:

I’m voting YES on the school referendum! I have lived in the amazing community most of my life and my grandchildren attend Washington High School.

As a renter in Washington, I understand my landlord will likely pass the financial burden of increased property taxes on to me by increasing the cost of rent. While I’m retired and live on a fixed income, I will be proud to sacrifice in order to invest in the children, the future, of Washington.

Our kids are worthy of this new middle school that will provide space to accommodate the current class sizes and plan for growth in our community. I urge you to vote Yes4Washington!

Dixie Miller, Washington

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