posted on October 18, 2006 10:38
Wake County school bond supporters say the bonds are “the best way to pay.” But is that message enough to win?
Bond supporters were smart to hire Democrat Brad Crone and Republican Ballard Everett to run their campaign.
Brad ran a smart campaign against school bonds some years ago. His slogan was: “There’s a better way.” That message enabled opponents to rationalize their vote: We’re not voting against the schools, we’re voting against this plan.
This year, though, Brad and Ballard are raking water uphill.
Supporters – facing strong voter opposition – argue that we’re going to pay for new schools one way or the other, and the bonds are cheapest in the long run. They say the interest savings will be $56 million.
But that’s a complicated argument. It’s aimed at the head. The opposition is coming from the gut. Human nature being what it is, gut usually beats head.
Fact is, the county will have to find a way to pay for new schools.
Wake’s school system soon will be the biggest in the state. It has 128,000 students. That’s two Carter-Finley stadiums.
Plus, 7,500 new students arrive every year.
School officials say we need:
- 17 new schools – 11 elementary, four middle and two high schools;
- 13 major renovations and maintenance at 100 schools;
- A five-year technology upgrade
- Land and design for 13 new schools.
Opponents are being dishonest when they claim charter schools – or bigger schools, or smaller schools, or pixie dust, or whatever they say – will do the job.
But facts don’t help when people are mad.
If the bonds lose, we’ll be looking for somebody to pick up the pieces – and the mantle of leadership. Any suggestions?
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