Letters to the editor | If schools were cars

May 10, 2014 

If schools were cars, State High would be a 1957 Chevy.

The Bel Air was the most popular car in America when the North Building opened. Perhaps you’re questioning its roadworthiness. Should you sink more money into it or replace it?

• $42 million would keep your car running. It would pay for new tires, hoses and an engine overhaul, but it wouldn’t buy bodywork, new upholstery or airbags.

• $42 million is the estimate to replace the windows, doors, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems at State High. But every room would still look and function as it does now.

• $70 million would buy a complete restoration, but you’d still have a 1957 Chevy. Sure, it’s nostalgic, but is it a reasonable daily driver for navigating today’s interstates?

• $115 million would buy a new Toyota Camry, the most popular car in America nowadays. It’s not a Cadillac, but it’s reliable and appropriate for the times.

Voting no for the State High debt referendum would leave our community with the 1957 Bel Air. The school district would need to find the money for stabilization or restoration by cutting programs and/or raising taxes.

On the other hand, if you think the Camry is a more sensible choice, you should vote yes to finance $85 million of the price tag.

That’s the choice you face May 20. The decision is yours.

Jim Pawelczyk

Ferguson Township

The writer is a member of the State College school board.

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