Richland voters passed a $98 million bond to repair, replace and build new schools. The bond passed with 66 percent approval. While this shows support by taxpayers, there are perhaps many who voted for bond approval that may not have, had they known details of how the money would be used.
The Richland School Board is proceeding with little input from citizens on how best to use these funds, how to replace existing schools and where to locate new schools. Current plans replace Richland's three inner-city schools (Sacajawea, Marcus Whitman and Lewis & Clark) with larger, new ones using a questionable strategy.
Their plan fails to meet the most pressing needs of the district as these three schools are located in developed, static neighborhoods where the number of school-age children is not growing. When this bond money is spent according to the existing plan, the need for new schools in growth areas will be unmet resulting in more bussing of students from the outer growth areas to inner-city schools and crowding of existing schools in growth areas.
Attend school board meetings and/or write letters to provide input on how you would like your tax dollars spent.
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JOHN and JUDY COX, Richland