There are students in the Yelm school district who sit through class each day either freezing cold or overheated, depending on the season.
They learn within some of the nearly 100 portables in the district, many of which are falling apart.
Some students have to walk outside those portables, braving our Western Washington weather, and across campus to use the bathroom.
In some cases, those bathrooms are limited because of plumbing issues.
Elsewhere on campus, cafeterias are overcrowded and some students find themselves eating lunch in a closet or next to the boiler.
These are just some of the stories voters within the district have been hearing over the last few months.
On Feb., 12 they will be asked to pass a $98.9 million bond that will be used to rebuild two of the district’s most dilapidated schools — Southworth Elementary and Yelm Middle School.
In addition, it will provide critical security upgrades to all the schools throughout the district.
The bond is the only way the district will be able to make these improvements. It cannot use levy funds and it cannot use McCleary funding.
Without approval of this bond, students will continue to sit in classrooms that slowly crumble around them.
They’ll continue to have a hard time concentrating because they’re too focused on the temperature in the room.
The students of today are the leaders of tomorrow and we as a community owe it to them to provide the best education — and educational environment — possible.
Investing in our schools is investing in our community. Healthy school districts make for a healthy economy, bringing in new families who want to live here and spend money here.
And because of changes in levy funding and the previous bond to build Yelm High School being paid off, property owners should see an overall decrease in their property taxes.
It sounds like a win-win. So be sure to mark “yes” on your ballot and get it turned in ASAP.
Ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday, Feb. 12 or turned into a drop box by 8 p.m. that day.
There is a drop box conveniently located in the school district parking lot.