To the editor:
I'm writing in response to Larry Handy and the other citizens of Fort Dodge who do not seem to understand the importance of this PPEL election. Mr. Handy writes that he will be voting no because he does not feel the district has been honest or respectful in regards to the construction of the new middle school.
If you've checked your facts, you would know the projected future repair and remodeling costs of Phillips and Fair Oaks were over $56 million. Using the 1 cent sales tax to fund a new middle school at a cost of approximately $35 million was a responsible decision. The district needs almost $4 million annually, not including the updates that would have been required at the two existing middle schools, to keep up with the infrastructure needs.
PPEL funds are not only used for building upkeep, but also for transportation, technology, and safety. The PPEL money will be used to ensure that our students are being educated in buildings that are not leaking and falling apart, being transported on buses that will not break down or cause risk to passengers, and that our students will have access to the best technology we can afford. If you do not wish those things for our children then vote "no."
I can assure you the new middle school is a need in this district and not just a want. As a sixth-grade teacher at Fair Oaks, I know firsthand that these buildings have lived a good life but are no longer meeting the needs and safety of our students
I'm asking not only Larry Handy, but all citizens of Fort Dodge to consider voting "yes" on Tuesday. The $.67 increase (the other $.67 is a renewal) the district is asking for will be put to good use and will have a great impact on all students within the district. Mr. Handy, you say that there are two essential groups within the education system, students and teachers, yet you are turning your back on both by voting "no." If this special election doesn't pass, teachers will get pink slips, class sizes will most likely increase, and the teachers who are left will be doing a lot more with less. Is that doing what is best for those two essential groups? You can help by simply voting "yes."