JACK MAYNE: It’s time to stop requiring students to attend dangerous schools

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Commentary by Senior Writer Jack Mayne

(click “Play” button to hear audio version:)

It is time to stop requiring the students of Highline School District to attend schools that are downright dangerous, while some vocal objectors throw objections that are totally wrong.

The full-throated objectors seem bent on using out of date or just plain wrong arguments to mask some anger at imagined or even real slights of the past. What they seem to forget is that the kids are the issue, not those few property owners second-guessing the Highline School Board and administration.

Those who say Superintendent Susan Enfield makes too much or does too little – even if they are right ­– are fighting the battle at wrong time. This bond issue will provide no money – as in none – for school operations or staff. The money can ONLY be used to build, repair and outfit school buildings. That’s the law, folks, despite the hyperbole from those who say the district uses it money incorrectly.

That could be an argument, but at a different time and under different circumstances. It can be fought AFTER the students of this district do not have to freeze in winter, swelter in summer and are forced to drink from fountains that could provide tainted water. Argue after there are enough quality classrooms for the student growth coming.

Highline High School is a dangerous place to attend school, and if this latest bond issue fails it means those voting no simply do not care about the young people who must attend there. The contentious argument against upgrading and adding to the district’s buildings comes from people who simply do not give a damn about the health and safety of students.

We care because whatever you think about the administration, the problems remain, and only the voters – not the paid help – can fix the problems with their vote in favor of the bond issue.

For this reason, the blogs and South King Media strongly supports the voter approval of the bond issue. Only you can provide a learning environment for the future leaders of South King County and beyond. Vote Yes!

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5 Responses to “JACK MAYNE: It’s time to stop requiring students to attend dangerous schools”
  1. Teacher says:

    Please know that there exists a policy in our state under No Child Left Behind that allows students to receive a waiver to any school within a district that are persistently dangerous. http://www.k12.wa.us/GeneralInfo/pubdocs/LearningByChoice2014.pdf …. Concerned people I believe that they can also waive into another school district. It’s little known or used. They don’t want to advertise that for sure or else there would be mass exodus. If you are concerned about the school you are in, ask for a move. If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it!

    • Information Sorceress says:

      Please note: No Child left behind is done. It has been replaced with ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) that has no punitive measures and therefore no waivers.

      That being said, I would do everything in my power to keep my child from attending an unhealthy school. HHS needs to be replaced, as does Evergreen and Tyee. But HHS is by far the more immediate need. Please vote yes on the bond.

  2. Mr. Mayne, thanks for clearly describing the situation of the deteriorating school buildings which can only be improved by the citizens of the Highline School District. As a tax payer I am responsible for my share of this commitment even though it will not directly benefit any member of my family. As citizens we all benefit from well educated students who feel the support of their community and will in their turn, be there for those who come after them.

  3. johnt says:

    jack I agree mostly in what you say but I do know for a fact that money earmarked for maintenance was used . that is why the schools are in bad shape. yes they do need to build schools and maintain them well. when the director of facilities is asked to give up the remainder of his budget each year that is what I call moving money around.

  4. Jack Mayne says:

    I asked Highline Schools to answer your comment:

    “None of our departments are allowed to carry over unspent funds from one budget year to the next. In the rare case when there is a department with unspent funds at the end of a budget year, those dollars go back into the general fund and are re-allocated into the next budget year.
    “The only exceptions are grants and federal programs that require allocated dollars to stay with their respective budgets from year to year until the funds are all spent.
    “Our Director of Facilities and Grounds (now in his third year with Highline) proactively plans all scheduled maintenance on an annual calendar, prioritizing the most critical needs first. He works down the priority list as far as the budget will allow. Our challenge is that with the age our buildings our critical needs are far greater than the funds available to address them all.”

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