Not much is the same as it was 20, 30 or 40 years ago - not the prices of every day necessities, the length of skirt hemlines, or how we think about public education and our schools.

What was seen as a way then to streamline school construction by utilizing exterior hallways now is viewed by many as a concern for children’s safety and security. Opening classroom doors directly into the outdoors has long been thought impractical for Northwest weather but in today’s culture having a single, secure entrance into the school is greatly desired.

Of course, the important work of public schools is the learning our children achieve inside the classroom but the environment does play a role in that learning. Adequate heat, air ventilation and light greatly impact a child’s ability to learn. Even with conscientious maintenance, systems providing these vital elements of the learning environment wear out. Today’s students need more access to learning tools that older electrical systems do not always reliably support.

As owners of older homes know, parts and service providers are rare for equipment 20, 30 or 40 years of age. Repairs grow more costly and operating efficiency diminishes over time costing owners and schools more and more. 

Also heard in communities from Monroe to Minneapolis is “don’t raise taxes”. 

It would seem that these two “wants” are, at best, at an impasse. Until now.