To the Editor:
The Bessemer Area Schools Board of Education’s $6 million bond proposal casts an interesting spotlight on our area’s future education system that warrants serious discussion.
Most of us would agree that certain repairs are necessary to continue to operate a safe and efficient school district for our students. I have no complaint about the talented teaching and support staff that is employed by the district itself.
I question why Bessemer’s school district doesn’t already budget for building repairs, new buses and depreciation like most businesses and other governmental agencies do. Why should they, if the taxpayers are simply going to continue to bail them out on a regular basis?
I have a problem with a bond proposal that will financially burden the district for the next 10 or 20 years when we continue to see a steady decline in student enrollment and reduction in our local tax base.
It’s my understanding that if bonds were issued the district would be obligated to pay fixed annual payments to the bond holders.
If our tax base continues to erode it would be necessary to increase the tax levy to continue to meet those annual payments.
When you take everything into account, the bottom line is clear — we can’t afford it.
It’s time or our district to reconsider consolidation with our friends and neighbors for Wakefield, Marenisco and Ironwood instead of continuing to invest more money on existing buildings.
Our students seem to be able to get along with each other and the adults should be able to do so, as well. I would feel much better spending any new money on a consolidated approach to our educational system.
It is for these reasons that I am opposed to Bessemer’s bond proposal at this time and encourage residents to vote no as well.