Quality of school buildings matters

To the editor:

I have read several letters to the editor in recent weeks against a new school levy.

They all reasoned that the condition of the school building had no bearing on education. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, there are more than 100 studies showing a direct correlation between student achievement and the quality of school buildings. Currently our children walk outside in the rain and snow to get to boxed-in trailers for classes. Our facility has been rated one of the worst in the state.

Student attendance is a consistent predictor of academic success. Better air quality through modern HVAC systems has been linked to less sick days and thus improved test scores. Modern architecture and infrastructure allow enhanced teaching tools, lighting and acoustics, all of which have been linked to better test scores. Facility quality has been shown to be an important predictor of teacher retention. In addition, studies also show fewer disciplinary incidents as building quality improves.

The levy detractors also argue that the cost to the taxpayer on a ” fixed income” is too high. Unfortunately, many people I know are actually on a declining income. However, as the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. A modern school with improved educational opportunities would be a major factor to attract new young families and businesses to our area. The current offer of matching state aid will also reduce our local tax burden. Vote yes for the Indian Creek levy and allow our children and the future of our community to flourish.

Joe Lewis