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Letter to the Editor: WFEA teachers, staff endorse school bond issue for building projects

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The 516 teachers and support staff members of the West Fargo Education Association wish to enthusiastically endorse the bond issue for district-wide building and improvement projects. On May 24, West Fargo district patrons will have an important choice to make. WFEA members stand together urging each of you to vote "yes" on the bond issue in the best interest of our students - your children.

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We have much to be thankful for in West Fargo - we are the fastest growing school district in the state. However, with this distinction comes the challenge. How can we meet the needs of our students, whose numbers will increase from 7,000 this year to 9,000 in just four more years? The choice seems clear - we must pass this bond issue to provide the space necessary for our students - your children and grandchildren - to have a safe and productive learning environment. We have no more time to wait - our buildings are near, at and over capacity now. All of the details you need are on the VOICE website at http://wfvoice.org/. If you haven't already, please take a look.

The West Fargo Education Association trusts that the district's growth projections are absolutely accurate. Our students' learning environments are already extremely crowded. Come and visit in any school and the lack of space is obvious. District leadership has developed this building plan thoroughly and thoughtfully, with the highest level of input possible from all district patrons. Furthermore, community members representing various groups will be invited to serve on advisory committees to develop the building and transition plans.

All of the data speaks very clearly - we must make this happen. Doing nothing is not a choice. If the bond issue fails, our alternatives are: increase class sizes significantly at all levels, schedule students in split shifts, send more students away from their home schools, or rent spaces in West Fargo. Another option is to use our limited operational funds to purchase temporary "portable classrooms." We could rent space in north Fargo as well, and bus some of our students there.

We, the teachers and support staff who educate your children, believe these "choices" are absolutely unacceptable. Our students deserve better. West Fargo has a long history of support for its school district, and we need that support now. It is time to step up and stand behind our school district and community. Every vote counts - your neighbor's children, your children and grandchildren are depending on you to vote "yes" on May 24. Do it for them.

Submitted by Gale Haug,

incoming WFEA President,

with Joan Connor,

current WFEA President

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