Lacey Stevick, Minot
On Dec. 10, I will be voting 'yes.' My decision is simple: It's the best choice for public education and it's the best choice for the community of Minot.
The Minot Public School District is currently educating 475 students in 24 portables (this does not include the system of portables at the Municipal Auditorium), and countless other students in hallways, gymnasiums, on stages, under stages, in fallout shelters, locker rooms and storage closets. These portables and other makeshift classroom areas have been the temporary solution for district-wide overcrowding.
Portables are trailers with no plumbing (that's correct, no plumbing), that sit in the parking lot away from the school building. Students must go back and forth to the bathroom, for lunch, assemblies, and other various activities that are held inside the actual school building. I can't think of anyone who would choose to spend the majority of their day working in a trailer with no plumbing, in a musty locker room, or in a storage closet, and we certainly shouldn't expect this from our educators and students. Portables makeshift classrooms are OK for short-term fixes but are totally unacceptable for long-term. The amount of students in the portables alone is enough to fill a four-section elementary school. That's like an entire Edison elementary inside of portables.
In the next five years, the projected enrollments show an additional 1,000 students coming into the district, which will put all schools at or over capacity. Where do we expect to put 1,000 more students if we already educate well over 475 students outside of traditional classrooms?
Quality public education is essential for a quality community and while not everyone has a stake in public education, everyone has a stake in our community. Let's deal the future of Minot a great hand and vote 'yes' on Dec. 10.