Point/Counterpoint - Support for Upcoming School Bond Measure Is ‘No-Brainer’

The Board of Education has placed a bond measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would generate nearly $180 million in funding to upgrade Alameda’s schools. As detailed in the most recent language, the money would be used for core needs such as “improving earthquake safety,” “improving heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems,” and “replacing leaky roofs.”

The bond also seeks to address an inescapable space issue, as 1,000 additional students are expected to squeeze into Alameda’s schools over the next 10 years. Currently there is no space to accommodate this growth. The bond measure was formulated through a months-long process of engagement between a team of architects, administrators, parents and teachers at every school across the district. 

As a parent of two children at Otis Elementary School, the choice of whether to support this bond is a no-brainer. At Otis, some of the programs that parents cherish are already threatened for lack of space and the problem is only projected to get worse in coming years. At other facilities, such as Lum Elementary School, aged heating systems are creating uncomfortable conditions. At Alameda’s two largest high schools, decades-old structural issues pose a threat to students’ safety. 

The thousands of students enrolled across our district (not to mention the hundreds of teachers and staff members) deserve safe, modern classrooms. The  entire community deserves the benefits — such as increased property values and higher standards of living — that go along with having high-quality schools.

Chuck Kapelke is an Alameda parent.