To The Editor:

Hammer pants, where’s the beef? and Top Gun were all popular in the late ’80s . . . that was also the last time voters approved a tax rate increase for the School District of Washington.

I graduated from WHS in 1986 and can’t quite believe that our community has let over 20 years pass since the last time voters approved a tax rate increase for our school district. I have always thought of the Washington community as a leader not only in Franklin County but in the state.

It financially supported the project of expanding Highway 100 from two lanes to four, it is pushing for a new bridge over the Missouri River, it has a new bandstand at the fairgrounds. All of these are great improvements for our community and yet in my mind, more important than any of these projects is the strengthening of our schools. A strong technologically equipped district is the only way Washington will remain a leader in the area.

I want my boys to have pride in their schools and their community. My seventh-grade son is very frustrated by the lack of technology updates at the middle school. He has a hard time taking pride in a school that has computer programs from 2001 (when he was 2 years old). Homework that he completes at home often can’t be “viewed” by teachers at school because the computers are outdated. I have difficulty taking pride in our community when I drive by South Point Elementary and see all of the temporary trailers used for classroom space. Our school facilities need improvements to better educate our kids and to make our students, teachers and community proud.

For over three years the district leaders have done research and listened to the community. They streamlined the budget and then cut it some more. They have created proposals, revised them and revised them again. I can’t imagine a group who has given more thorough consideration to all of the possible solutions to the district’s current issues.

The support we give our public schools now has a huge impact on the future success of our community. I am impressed every day by my fellow WHS alumni who lead local businesses, organizations and charity causes. They are also medical professionals, leaders in their churches, leaders in the private schools and coaches for youth sports. Our current students will lead us into the future. It is time to support them with our votes of yes for questions 1 and 2 of Prop R.