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Projected enrollment increase demands Yes vote on referendum

It’s been estimated that enrollment in Austin Public Schools will increase as much as 500 students in the next four years and by 1,000 students in the next 10 years.

Right now, a Banfield Elementary second-grade class is using the library as a classroom. Students at Ellis Middle School are sharing lockers. These types of situations are only going to get worse as enrollment increases.

A new school would free up room at both the elementary schools and Ellis. Remember, this was a solution that was the result of parents and other community members working together to figure out what’s best for kids in Austin. This school would also offer a new STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) curriculum.

Yes, our taxes will increase, but I think the small amount per property owner, is well worth it. Consider this: the bond used to finance the high school renovation will be paid off this year, which means a net increase of only $69 per year for a residential property worth $125,000. That’s just $5.75 a month or $.19 a day. The fact that the old bond will be paid off and the fact that construction companies are looking for work because of the major slowdown in their industry, makes it a perfect time to vote yes and move forward.

If this doesn’t pass, the district will most likely be forced to lease space to accommodate the increased enrollment. These buildings would need to be modified to become "classrooms" which would cost money. Furthermore, these facilities would be leased and certainly not be nearly as efficient and convenient as a new school built next to Ellis. These costs would be paid for with tax increases, so the choice seems obvious: pay for something now that serves our children very well and we own it, or pay later for something much less adequate that is rented.


Please vote Yes on Nov. 8.

Scott Anderson


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