Sunday, June 9, 2019

Dear Editor

My husband and I would like to write in support of the school bond. We are two working parents who deeply value public education. I was raised in Paris, France, a country with a history of investing in public education, and my husband, Professor and Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University School of Architecture, benefited from a stellar public school education in Barrington Heights, a suburb of Chicago, IL.

I have reviewed the bond proposal in details, and I have spent time in all three elementary schools with my children. In addition, I have visited and compared Rye Middle and High Schools with other schools, including Larchmont and Harrison High Schools. In my opinion, and comparing our infrastructures with those of nearby communities – who passed their bond proposals successfully, the proposed expenditures are absolutely justified and represent a bare minimum to maintain our existing infrastructures and current school programs.

At a time where government funding for public education is decreasing, it is critical that, as a community, regardless of whether we have children in the school system, we rise to provide the necessary resources that allow all our children to study in a safe environment and to reach their full potential as learners.

I should add for the voters who don’t have children in the school system, that, beyond the quality of Rye children’s education, what is at stake is the real estate value of their properties. Rye is a beautiful community in its own rights, but we must all be pragmatic and realize that school quality has a strong influence on neighborhood home values, as demonstrated by countless peer-reviewed studies on the subject. Without strong home values, our town would be deprived of valuable tax dollars to maintain its infrastructures and keep all of its residents safe. Therefore, it is in Rye City residents’ best interests to vote this bond proposal.

All the best,

Laurence Lafforgue and Jorge Otero-Pailos

Rye Residents