I am an empty nester. My last child graduated from Rye High School in 2018. Like most other parents in Rye, we worried, cajoled, scrimped, and invested to give the best we could for our kids and their education. We made sure our children understood that a good education is an opportunity that should never be squandered.
On June 11, all four of the voting members of the Jensen family will vote yes on the School Bond and we will do so in all three parts. Many of my neighbors argue that a 30-year, 79-million dollar bond is not a good idea from a budget perspective. Using a fairly narrow lens, they look at their property taxes and are more than happy to be convinced by loud voices to vote no.
Investing in our schools and the future of our community should never just be about fiscal conservatives focused primarily with budget issues. It also shouldn’t be about fiscal liberals borrowing too much money and not spending it wisely. It should be about a community coming together and voting on wise investments that will produce good social and economic returns over the long term.
For our family, the Rye City Schools have always been, and continue to be, an excellent investment. The success of our students and the growth and resilience of our property values are a testament to that fact. With respect to this bond, we have debated as a community and the school board has made adjustments based on that input. Now it is time to take care of our aging infrastructure, replace our athletic field and update the performing arts center and many of our classrooms. As a proud parent of former Garnet graduates, I want our public schools to reflect the best of teaching with learning spaces that encourage the competencies necessary for a rapidly changing labor market.
We are lucky to live in Rye where the community has the wisdom and wherewithal to make smart, sustainable investments in the future. Now we just need to show up and say yes.