‘Facts’ in letters about referendum are simply misinformation
Two recent opinion letters contained misleading statements about the proposed new middle school building, and the school district in general. These statements are appropriately labeled “Opinion” and not “Fact.” The editors of this paper have no obligation to fact check any of the items on this page like they do the stories they report on. I would hope that the author would check their facts and provide references so others could see, but that isn’t always the case. A check of the Iowa Department of Education’s website at www.educateiowa.gov shows no recommendations in the facilities section about the number of square feet per student a building should have. The estimates I am aware of, that architects use, are for the academic areas only. Apparently the author of the original letters doesn’t feel that spaces like hallways, kitchens, lunchrooms, bathrooms, music rooms, and office space are necessary areas for a school to function. I think most would disagree. In the second letter, he goes on to say that this plan adds another kitchen. The current proposal adds a kitchen but the opinion writer doesn’t take into account the fact that this replaces the old kitchen area that will become classrooms. The author gives us his best example of misinformation toward the end of the letter where he claims, “The cost of a special bond referendum is at least $40,000 taxpayer dollars.” This is a fact that is very simple to check. A simple email to the board secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org, will get you a return email with an itemized attachment that shows the 2014 bond vote cost the district $2,324.43, well short of $40,000. While I am sure there has been a very small increase due to some inflation, I doubt it will be 17 times as much. I am not encouraging anyone to vote yes or no with this letter. I am encouraging everyone to get the FACTS before you vote. This is a very important vote for our school district and community. Attend one of the meetings that Superintendent Jay Jurrens is planning or just get in contact with him to get the facts about the project, don’t just take the OPINIONS that are printed here as facts without checking it out yourself.