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Letter: Bond Would Provide Needed Lab Improvements

The author is an Ossining resident and parent of semifinalist in this year's Intel science competition.

The Ossining Schools Board of Education has put forth a bond for vote on March 6th. I urge all Ossining residents to support this bond. Many are asking how can we afford to spend $41.6 million dollars in this time of austerity. I say, how can we not?

With buildings as old as the schools in the district, annual repair costs have begun to take a toll on the operating budget needed to fund teachers, purchase supplies and provide for the education of our children. This bond will allow the district to stop taking a “band-aid” approach to those repairs and replace long overdue boilers and rooftops, while also upgrading an eighty-year-old auditorium at the high school and installing critical safety and curriculum upgrades.  Because this bond will not result in any tax increases, we cannot afford not to do this now. Putting this off will only result in having to do it at a later date, at a higher net cost.

Ossining schools have celebrated many accomplishments in the past year. We don’t want to slow that momentum by handicapping our students with a physical plant that does not meet the basic education and safety standards. There has been a common refrain that our science labs must be suitable if we are producing Intel semifinalists year after year. As the parent of one of this year’s semifinalists, I can assure you that the labs in our district would not have allowed her to be competitive. The labs are not compliant with the state education standards, let alone suitable for the rigorous research required to be competitive in the Intel Science Talent Search. A good education is more than good teachers. It is good equipment, good infrastructure and a supportive community. This bond is to the benefit of everyone, not just those in our community with children in the schools. If our schools are strong, our community is stronger!

Please support the bond on March 6th. It will cost you nothing more than you already pay.

Lutonya Russell-Humes

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