Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vote Tuesday in Fayetteville!

Residents of Fayetteville School District have the opportunity to make their voices heard this Tuesday, September 15, regarding the proposal to increase property taxes by 4.9 mils to build a new high school.

This is just a reminder so no one will forget to vote on such an important matter.

I have written about this issue in the past, but I still have mixed feelings about the issue. Bottom line is that I think that Fayetteville needs a first class educational institution to continue to attract good people to live here. As a university town and cultural center of NW Arkansas, we provide a good education for our children. Fayetteville HS in the past has rated highly for academic excellence nationally, but the physical structure needs to keep up with the times and take us into the future. The issue involves the different ways to get there.

One the one hand, it seems that a first class facility could be obtained for less money. I didn’t follow the debate on whether the 9th grade should be included in the new school (basically I think it shouldn’t and a lot of money could be saved by not including them, but if that’s what has been decided through the democratic decision-making process, it’s no longer up to me).

But the big issue is paying higher taxes, and no one wants that unless there is a good reason.

On the other hand, there are some good things that can be said for a new HS.

Basically, Fayetteville voters need to decide about quality of life in the future, and the high school (even if one doesn’t have children who will be attending the school) is an important part of the equation. We need to attract new industry to the area, and people moving here want to know that their children will receive a good education. Fayetteville HS already has a great reputation and rates highly in terms of academics, even nationally. And whether to build a new HS has been through several years of eliciting public input on where and what will be built. What will be voted on is what has resulted from the public process. It’s what the people say they want. And I believe in letting the people decide.

In the interest of full disclosure, two things: 1) my son graduated from Fayetteville HS five years ago. I asked his opinion and he indicated that the physical plant probably needs some improvement. But surprisingly his main question had to do with what would happen with to great murals in the existing building. Those are part of the history of Fayetteville High and will probably be lost in the renovations. And that’s something no one has mentioned in the debate…. 2) I no longer live in Fayetteville, so whatever is decided won't affect me.

For more information, read my blog article dated July 11, 2009. Also there is a comprehensive article and some great letters to the editor in the Sunday (9/13/09) NW Arkansas Times. I’m not providing links any more because you now have to pay to read the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and all of its affiliate papers. The Morning News has an article on Sunday about how the different NW Arkansas school districts spend their money.

For both newspapers click on NW Arkansas Links on the home page of http://www.JudyLuna.com. Check the left column on the resulting page for the two newspapers.

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