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I am writing as a taxpayer, parent, educator and president of the Auburn Teachers Association to advocate for community support for the proposed capital improvement project the Auburn school district has going to a vote Jan. 8.

Having many different perspectives as a community member, I see firsthand the need for this project. As a taxpayer, I understand the proposed tax increase will have an slight effect on my overall budget. However, I also understand it is necessary to maintain infrastructure to our public school buildings, and I am confident the benefits will far outweigh the tax increase.

In today’s world, in order for our children to succeed and thrive, we must invest in the infrastructure of our schools and school grounds to create a learning environment that is advantageous for our students, staff and community members.

As parents we want our children to be able to learn in a clean, healthy and safe environment. Keeping our children safe is a constant concern of parents. We are aware of potential dangers that our children will encounter in their lifetime, and because such a large part of growing up is spent in schools, it is crucial for our public school buildings to be as safe as possible. We also know that children cannot possibly learn at their maximum potential when classrooms are overheating with temperatures reaching upwards of 100 degrees.

As an educator in the district and president of the Auburn Teachers Association, I see daily the need for these updates. I have witnessed everything — leaking roofs, burst pipes, extreme hot and cold classroom temperatures, drafty windows and doors, broken playground equipment, and many other problems constantly being worked on and fixed by our dedicated maintenance department. The problem is that these repairs are not permanent. This project will provide all of us with a solution that will improve and fix infrastructure issues for years to come.

We need a learning environment that allows us to fully engage our students without distraction so we can provide them with the knowledge to advance them to become productive community members. We need to create an environment that ensures the health and safety of our students and staff are being met and schools that create an environment that is most ideal for learning. Because of this, I am asking you, as fellow taxpayers, parents and educators, to get out and vote in support of the proposed project. Vote YES, to ensure all children have safe and healthy schools to thrive and develop into positive, contributing members of society.

Justin Herrling

Auburn

Justin Herrling is president of the Auburn Teacher Association.

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