I am writing to encourage a yes vote on the upcoming school bond election in May. Hermiston is the largest and fastest growing city in Eastern Oregon. A recent population study by Portland State University forecasts that the Hermiston School District will continue to increase its student population by a total of 800 students by 2023, a short seven years from now.

In my opinion, that prediction is a modest estimate given the greater than expected growth in student enrollment over the last ten years. (It is my understanding that student enrollment has exceeded the estimated student population growth by this same university over the last ten years.)

Our elementary schools are overcrowded now and the district is using modular buildings to make room for our current students. By replacing Rocky Heights and Highland Hills Elementary Schools and building an additional elementary school, the needs of serving our elementary students can be met. Plus, an addition to the high school will add needed additional classrooms for our older students.

If this bond measure is not passed, our children will still need someplace to go to school if we do not build and remodel. An additional 56 modular classrooms would be needed to make room for these students. The money to purchase or lease these modular classrooms will come from funds intended for the education of these students, thereby shortchanging our students’ education.

I feel the Hermiston community looks forward to growth and is willing to shoulder the challenges that come with that growth. It is said that good schools make for good communities. Please join me in voting for the Hermiston School Bond so we can give our community and our kids the schools they deserve.

Bonnie Luisi, school board member,

Hermiston

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