Busey misrepresent education needs

Lake Chelan’s former Superintendent of Public Schools, Dr. Jim Busey, has been a vocal critic of the upcoming Lake Chelan school bond. But based on his critiques, I respectfully submit he has inaccurately analyzed the needs of our kids and their education.

First, Dr. Busey suggests that the recent addition of four classrooms at the high school should solve our overcrowding issues. But the overcrowding issues are rooted at MOE, our elementary school, and extend up the grades. If anything, the four new high school classrooms are a good example of why small bonds and small projects won’t solve our issues. The classrooms offered an improvement at the high school but didn’t touch the systemic issues spanning both campuses.

Second, Dr. Busey questions the recent decision to remodel the District’s administration offices versus upgrading the HVAC units at the high school. The District had an opportunity to increase the rent and the rentable space of a stable long term tenant (Chelan Fresh) and consolidate its administrative team. The HVAC units didn’t have the same degree of urgency as the rental expansion. Thus, the remodel is precisely the type of wise fiscal decision we should expect from our board.

Finally, Dr. Busey suggests that by denying access to Choice Transfer kids (kids who live outside the district but chose to attend our schools), we can solve our overcrowding issues. Only 40 percent of the Choice kids attend MOE where the overcrowding issues are most pronounced. Of this percentage, 20 percent are kids belonging to our teachers or other District employees. A ban on Choice kids will not solve the overcrowding issues.

The bottom line is our kids need more space to achieve the level of education required for future success. At the core, our ability to educate our kids is constrained by our facilities. Dr. Busey fails to recognize this as the salient issue driving this bond. His recommendations to think small and stay debt free are appropriate when a system has extra capacity. But our schools have long since reached their capacity. Vote Yes for the LCSD Bond on April 23.

Guy Evans