There is a good deal of apprehension in the community about giving Lake Oswego School District a pile of money for facilities. The last time we did that, we wound up with a Taj Mahal of a high School that leaked soon after it was built. There are those who say that money meant to make repairs to elementary schools was siphoned off for high school construction. Lack of trust is rampant. How can taxpayers trust the district to manage their funds od mob efficiently? The administration has changed, but memories persist.
The community is now faced with decades of neglect of the entire school system. It's astounding to many - indeed, infuriating - that our public assets have been treated so outrageously. PERS will continue to take an even bigger bite out of public agency budgets going forward, which means that personnel, salary and benefits, or services will likely be cut somewhere at every level of government. Cutting maintenance of buildings is not an option.
At this time, it is incumbent upon the school district to look into every nook and cranny to see what money can be turned toward facilities maintenance. Any talk of competition with private schools regarding facilities should be rejected. It isn't the building that makes a quality education, it's the quality of education. Having said that - let's get hundreds of kids out of portables at Rivergrove School! The district wouldn't tolerate such deplorable conditions at any other school in the district.
I urge everyone to go to the Bond Summit this Saturday to learn about the very real needs for school repairs and ask questions.