Dear Rye Record,
In the latest discourse about the school bond, I have been disappointed to hear inaccurate and misleading statements such as “Apparently voting no doesn’t count” and “The Rye School Board won’t compromise.” When the first bond lost by 10 votes with turnout of only 21%, most of the community was shocked and disappointed. The School Board received dozens of letters, emails and in-person pleas at meetings for the Board to propose the same bond. It is misleading to characterize the community’s surge of support as the Board’s inability to compromise or that “voting no doesn’t count.”
Furthermore, I hope that if people are confused or have questions about the bond, that they will avail themselves of the plethora of resources on our school district website or simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many people are harboring misconceptions that can easily be cleared up. It is each individual’s responsibility to educate him/herself and we must continue to respect each other’s opinions so we can have polite and productive interactions.
In my opinion, voting for the bond is a vote for Rye, not just Rye Public Schools. One of the main drivers of home prices is the quality of the public schools. In order to keep them competitive, we must at a minimum repair crumbling infrastructure. In addition, if funds are not spent to remediate the HS/MS turf field, Rye Schools Superintendent Dr. Byrne has said the field will have to close in June 2020. This will impact Rye Youth Soccer and Lacrosse, not to mention middle and high school sports. Neighboring communities that have recently passed bonds include: New Rochelle $106m (2016), Mount Vernon $108m (2016), Harrison $46.5m (2016), Port Chester $80m (2017), Scarsdale $65m (2018) and Mamaroneck $50m (2019). These districts are investing in their children and their communities; we should too.
The Harvard School of Public Health concludes that the evidence is unambiguous – “the school building influences student health, thinking and performance.” (Eitland et al., 2017)
Please join me in voting YES for the school bond on June 11th.