Why we’re voting for the school bond measure

We have an opportunity this fall to choose hope and solve big problems together with a carefully studied, community-supported plan. We can create better learning environments for our children and community. Though our (now adult) kids graduated BHS in 2003 and 2006, we are voting Yes for Kids on Measure 1-88 for:

• Children’s safety and security. Safety needs have changed.

• Vocational Opportunities for seventh and eighth graders, using existing space at Baker High School.

• Increasing energy efficiency and decreasing operating costs. Maintenance costs for Baker’s old buildings are twice Oregon’s average (8 percent of Baker’s budget vs. 4 percent state average)

• Alleviating overcrowding at Brooklyn, South Baker and Middle School.

Overcrowding is a daily problem for kids trying to learn and their teachers, aides and volunteers. Schools have converted broom closets, a stage and an old shower room into space for educating kids. As a weekly volunteer reader, I have used a closet/storage space to read with first-graders at Brooklyn. Middle schoolers have no cafeteria, so food is transported from BHS, getting cold, and kids eat in a balcony over the gym. What kind of message are we sending our kids, to leave them in these overcrowded, old facilities?

I was shocked to learn that Baker hadn’t passed a school facilities bond in 70 years, since Harry Truman was President! It’s time that we invest in our children.

After more than a year of study by 24 Long-Range Facilities Committee members, the School Board chose among identified problems those highest priorities that surveys show the majority of voters support.

Please join our family in voting Yes for Kids on Measure 1-88. Thank you.

Mary Tomlinson

Baker City