(The following letter was submitted by Curt & Monica Ellis)
Over the past few weeks, several people who don’t have kids in school anymore have asked us why they should support the upcoming bond. While we found ourselves sharing the fact that property values are directly tied to the quality of public schools, that Saline Area Schools has been extremely fiscally responsible over the past several years and that it’s been 15 years since the voters in Saline last passed a school bond, we recently had a revelation. We don’t have kids in school anymore either!
As the proud parents of two Saline HS graduates, Monica and I are now in the same position – without kids in school anymore why should we support the bond? For us, the answer is simple.
Through the years, others whose children had already graduated said YES and passed a bond to make an investment in our public schools. Long ago, the voters decided that the educational tools they used, the abacus, filmstrips, writing tablets and typewriters, should be replaced with calculators, VCR’s and word processors. More recently, voters decided that Apple IIe that was used to teach basic computer coding was obsolete and needed to be replaced with Macs, PC’s and other electronic devices. Soon thereafter, we were faced with the challenge of connecting all of those devices to a network capable of handling the traffic. Our voters have consistently provided our students with the tools they needed to be future ready.
Here in Saline, the taxpayers have supported the school district by providing us with over $200 million in fixed assets – our current school buildings. Long ago, voters decided that the one-room school house model that had been the educational standard for years was no longer preparing children for the future that they were about to embrace. Those voters decided that wood-burning stoves used to heat schools should be replaced with boilers. They decided that schools needed hot and cold running water, that gas lights should be replaced with electric lights and that paved roads and parking lots were preferred to gravel. While we have fantastic facilities here in Saline, our newest school building opened 11 years ago, while our oldest building opened 55 years ago! Like our individual homes, these buildings need regular maintenance. They need heating and cooling maintenance and upgrades. They need plumbing and electrical repair and upgrades. And, in 2015, our buildings need physical safety and digital security upgrades,
For us, the answer is clear. Even though we no longer have children in school, by voting YES on November 3rd, Monica and I will be doing our part to keep Saline students of today and tomorrow safe, secure, and ready to tackle the challenges the future will bring them. We will be helping the children of the future succeed, just as the voters who came before us helped our children succeed. We hope you share our faith in Saline Area Schools and will join us in voting YES on November 3rd!
Curt & Monica Ellis