I wish to present my opinion regarding the April Lake Washington School District (LWSD) bond, which would grant the district $398 million to build new schools and expand old ones while maintaining the current tax rates.
I have been a student in the LWSD since elementary school and am currently a ninth-grader at Redmond High School. I feel that there is a great need for this bond due to a major issue, an issue so big that it affects every student in the LWSD; this issue is overcrowding. Throughout the years, I’ve noticed an increasing number of students at school, causing issues such as locker shortages and overcrowded classrooms, and these issues have had big consequences. In eighth grade, I wasn’t able to have a locker due to the shortage of lockers, and this meant that I had to carry around my backpack for the entire day, which was extremely cumbersome and tiring.
Additionally, the excessive amount of people in each class meant that I had less time with the teacher, so if I didn’t understand a concept, it was almost impossible for the teacher to help me understand it during class. Back in middle school, I remember needing help diagramming sentences, as they were the obstacle preventing me from success, yet I couldn’t turn to the teacher for help because she had 30 other kids to worry about. Having too many kids in one class is an important issue that needs to be fixed as it affects the learning experience of students.
Due to overcrowding, there is already a great need for bigger facilities; I recall having to sit on the ground during lunch because there weren’t enough seats, and walking through the hallways was a nightmare due to crowds of students trying to get to class. I believe that these issues greatly affected my school life making school a less enjoyable place to be.
The obvious solution to this influx of students is to either build more schools or expand existing schools; however, this has not been possible as the district lacks the funding to do so, and currently has only been able to build portables. Up until now, the district has never had an opportunity to get the funding necessary for such an ambitious project, but if the bond is passed, it would grant the district the money needed to build three new schools and upgrade five other schools.
The LWSD is rapidly growing; taking in an average of 625 new students per year for the past five years. At this rate if the bond isn’t passed, in the next five years alone the LWSD will have more than 30,000 students. This means that in the coming years, there will be even more overcrowding and class sizes will grow to overwhelming amounts. Due to the rapid growth of class size, along with overcrowding, I strongly support the bond so that overcrowding will no longer be an issue within the LWSD.
Published in the Redmond Reporter, March 26th 2016