To the Editor:
I support the Princeton Public Schools facilities referendum and urge everyone to vote yes on both questions presented. Voters should keep in mind that this vote is about programs and maintaining educational standards that are crucial to the value of our homes and the values of our community. In November we must vote to address the need for more classrooms and athletic facilities for the students that we have now, as well as the ones we know will be moving into and through our system. Included in the referendum are necessary improvements for security which must be addressed. Also included are crucial and overdue HVAC upgrades of our outdated and inefficient systems.
Class size is one of the most important factors in the quality of education and we are already at or over capacity in ALL of our schools. This is not a question — we are there. In the next five years, school enrollment is expected to grow another 10 percent and this trend is likely to continue. Demographers can be off, but we need the capacity now and it would be foolish to not prepare for the increases that are inevitable. Our educational space does not fit the curriculum or our needs today. The collaborative and interdisciplinary programs in Princeton Public Schools are often hindered by outdated and overcrowded spaces. We have to address our diverse student body and ensure that their needs are addressed from sufficient STEM resources to appropriate space for counselors, food service, and special education.
Unfortunately, Princeton and the rest of the world are not getting cooler. Students cannot effectively learn in stifling heat. Our classes have been disrupted when rooms are either too hot, or in the case of heating malfunctions, too cold. Imagine how well you would function in an office with poor air circulation and no air conditioning. These upgrades are necessary and will be energy and cost efficient.
I moved to Princeton for the schools and the community. I was lucky to educate my kids in the Princeton Public Schools. I am now an empty nester and a taxpayer who wants to make sure that our schools remain strong for all our kids. It would be foolish to wait because the costs will go up and so will our class sizes. We need to act now so we can preserve the excellence that brought us here to Princeton. Vote YES on November 6.