Lambert: Why a vote for the bond is a vote for safe schools

I am voting “yes” on the safe schools bond in November, because as a Provo citizen, parent, educator and PTO board member, I know that any investment we make in education is an investment in our future.

Nobody likes to pay increased property taxes, but it is unrealistic to expect that we can provide schools that are safer, more secure and have the ability to grow without an increase of any kind.

After studying the issues, I feel like we can’t afford NOT to pass this bond. Some of the alternatives, like doing the bare minimum that will give Timpview and Dixon a few more years of use, could end up costing us more down the road. It would be putting good money after bad, being penny wise and dollar foolish.

Up to, and including now, the Provo School District has proven to be a wise steward of our tax dollars. According to the State Auditor’s Office, PSD spends $94.50 of every $100 on students, and only $5.50 on administrative costs. Spending on administrative costs has also gone down each year for the last four years. To me, this shows that the district is not mismanaging these funds. There is no reason to expect that this bond is anything different.

My children attend Westridge Elementary School, and from the moment I first saw the school, I was worried about the lack of security. The school is adjacent to a public park with no fence between, and the temporary portable classrooms that have been there for 20 years are separate from the main building. Children have to walk from the portable classrooms to the main building to use the bathroom or get a drink of water because there is no plumbing in these classrooms.

In addition to the security concerns that exist because of the portables, anyone can walk through the front doors and bypass the front office to gain access to classrooms or other areas of the school. This is an unacceptable situation, and there are nine other schools in the district that share some of the same security concerns as Westridge. Passing the bond means that all of the schools in Provo will be secured.

The opposition says, “We deserve better.” Actually, we deserve the best. And the way to achieve the best is by voting “yes” for safe and secure schools.

— Jennifer Lambert, Provo