EUGENE, Ore. — Members of the Yes for 4J Schools group made their presence known Monday. Parents, teachers, administrators and community members gathered in front of Howard Elementary School in hopes of bringing greater attention and support to the district’s need to improve their schools’ infrastructure.
“One of the major issues is the heaters honestly. It may not sound like a big deal, but it really is a huge problem,” said Margaret Gleason, an eighth grader at Roosevelt Middle School.
This was one of many issues Gleason listed off in hopes of garnering support for the $170 million bond measure.
There are also lockers that don’t lock and outdated computers held together with duct tape. While these things seem minor, students and staff says it all adds up.
“Environment is really essential to whatever we do. Teaching and learning is no different. And the less you have to deal with environmental obstacles, the more free your mind is to learn,” said Jeff Wyman, a teacher at Roosevelt Middle School.
That’s why the district has been pushing for a local levy. Since the decision to move forward, a committee has been formed in hopes of getting the whole community on board. Members say these problems have a greater impact than most folks think.
“The last six hires we’ve had at Palo Alto Software all just happened to be people who had children of school age, so schools have been a topic when we’re recruiting,” said Sabrina Parsons, bond committee co-chair.
Aside from the short-term economic impact construction would create, bond co-chairs say investing in the schools is an investment in the community as a whole; a good school system can be a big draw to bringing in businesses.
But for the kids, the reason to support this bond is simple.
“RMS is just an amazing school. There are so many amazing attributes that I can’t even say them all right now and it deserves to have a building that mirrors the programs, teachers and everything,” Gleason said.
Advocates of the 4J levy will continue to rally for their measure, which is on the May ballot.