Opinion

There are school funding alternatives

After the bond failed last time, I sent loads of information to the North Bend residents' Yahoo! group. It included places to investigate for grants, alternative funding, innovative ideas and the plan that funding not come solely from the tax base.

Excerpts from some responses were: "Sorry, but there are no real alternative sources of school construction funding in Washington State," "Grants are great but getting grants is a long process and a bit of a crapshoot," and "We don't do things that way."

I disagree. I think there are lots of alternative funding sources available so it doesn't come solely from taxes. I am willing to help follow up on that - and I am sure many others are interested, too. We just need somebody to direct and guide us. If we all did just a little bit of work in a coordinated effort, I know we can accomplish a lot.

As an example of how a different school district in a different state handled the creation of a new school, the Community Unit School District 3 in Fulton County, Ill., received more than $700,000 in "green grants." In an article about it (http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3922/is_200502/ai_n11826628), superintendent Janice Spears practically describes a step-by-step plan about who to contact for funding.

If we, as a community, worked toward this goal of a green school and reducing the amount of tax dollars necessary to complete the project, we could be very successful. Every dollar raised by grants, matching funding, alternative funding and state funding would mean one less dollar that we need to pay from taxes.

Jaymie Blatt

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