BENTONVILLE, AR-- In an open letter, Bentonville parent Rick Smith outlines the reasons he says the proposed second high school plan will "do damage" to the district.
"I want to commend Steve Carter for his efforts to educate the voters in our school district. His statements are spot on. This millage is nothing more than a bait and switch and will do damage to the effectiveness of our district in their efforts to increase engagement and overall academic success.
"The bait is an artificially lowered price as everything is stripped out of the millage except the building costs. The switch part of the game happens in one of two ways. Either the needed money to pay the real price is asked for in another millage in the very near future or cuts are made to programming in academics until we can afford to run a duplicated high school program. This approach leaves our high school program no longer leading the state in student performance and eliminates offerings that enhance and challenge our students.
"This millage does not include any money for operations, technology improvements, or maintenance and capital improvements that will be so badly needed in the very near future. This millage also ignores any need for additional building at the elementary and middle schools levels. Instead this millage commits us to paying over $4M every year in duplicated operating costs at the new location for administration and extracurricular activities. These costs could go a long ways towards solving some our other needs but a short sighted approach will leave us damaged and only time will tell if and how long it will take to recover.
"This board had a chance to be innovative and focus on incremental increases to student engagement and success by adding diversity to our academic program but chose to duplicate and add more of the same. It is about time that adding opportunity means more than my kid has an easier shot at making the soccer team, cheerleading squad, or choir. "
The election for the millage is Tuesday. You can take a look at our continuing coverage of this issue HERE.