If we want Tacoma to prosper, to continue to attract new talent and businesses, we must continue to invest in our infrastructure. That includes our schools. Few things make a clearer statement about a city’s future potential and its current priorities than the condition of its schools. And few businesses will have confidence in a city that is letting its schools crumble.
The 2013 bond measure is not an idle request. We haven’t passed a construction bond in more than a decade, and improvements and safety upgrades are needed in schools throughout the city. Deferring maintenance is only increasing costs.
The Tacoma School District has done a great job of designing new schools and refurbishing old ones. These buildings are consistently attractive, take advantage of the latest building techniques, and create spaces that enhance learning and community. The bond will extend these benefits to students across the city.
There are a slew of practical reasons to pass a bond now (historically low interest rates, extremely competitive bids, local job creation) but we should also remember the wider implications. By passing the bond we invest in safe, healthy and attractive environments for our students. And we reaffirm to our children and the wider community that Tacoma is a city where education is a priority.