Kathryn Gandek-Tighe & Lauren Jordahl: Doing Better for the Next Generation

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Arlington has incredible teachers and staff. As parents of students who went through Arlington’s schools, we appreciate the high caliber of education our students received. We’ve also seen the limits to what teachers and staff can do.

They can’t fix a broken building. They can’t find money to hire more teachers. They can’t fill a school library with books. We had children attend the old Dallin with a roof that leaked to the point of mold growing in the building and a heater so unreliable that school had to be canceled. When budget cuts eliminated librarians and art teachers in every elementary school, Arlington’s parents volunteered so students could still fully use the libraries and have art classes. School PTOs and the Arlington Education Foundation (AEF) continue to fund many things that really should be part of the school budget, including library books and curriculum tools.

We need to do better by the next generation of students. It is our responsibility to support our schools, give our teachers and students the resources they need, and build a new high school capable of supporting our children’s education.

Arlington High School is a patched together series of buildings dating back as far as 1914. The facility doesn’t work anymore and will soon be over capacity. Staff, volunteers, and architects worked for years to design a new building that is large enough and will educate our students for this century instead of the last one. A yes vote on the debt exclusion for the high school will allow Arlington to finally replace the high school and provide $86 million in state aid.

A yes vote for the Proposition 2 ½ override will provide support for all of Arlington’s schools as well as other town services that benefit everyone. It is vital to maintain funding for town services so we don’t have to cut police, fire, public works, or other departments to balance the budget. We need an override.

Two yes votes on June 11 will give Arlington a building it desperately needs and avoid painful cuts like the ones we experienced only a decade ago. The town’s leaders are working on plans to ease the tax burden for people on limited incomes, as they should. Raising taxes is never an easy decision, but we hope you will join us in voting YES on Questions 1 and 2 to build Arlington’s future.

Kathryn Gandek-Tighe
Lauren Jordahl