... and Emotional People Will Vote Yes
It has been interesting to watch the latest round of “we need more money for the children” telethon. Of course I’m talking about the advocates for Bond Measure 18-99. If passed, the Klamath Falls School District (KFSD) will get a loan of $36,000,000 that the tax-payers in the district will be on the hook for the next 20 years. The economic impact is that over $2 million each year will be transferred from the citizens of Klamath Falls to the special interest consortium of banking, construction and real estate.
The Yes crowd’s claim is that this bond measure will benefit the children. It is a pure emotional plea. There is no real thinking behind it. In the final analysis it is some personal feeling that drives the Yes vote. In reality this bond measure does nothing for the children except to make their parents poorer while doing nothing to fix the real problem in Klamath County — education.
As I said, it has been interesting to watch the “debate”. If you listen to the Yes crowd, their plea is almost always emotional. If you had just arrived in this county, you might think that Klamath Union will fall apart on November 5th if this bond measure does not pass. What is lacking from the Yes crowd is specifically HOW remodeling a building will help the children? I understand the children will have a newer building. Fine. But for $36 million? Klamath County School District is building a brand new school (not remodeling one) for almost half the price — and for two more grades. Again we're looking for how specifically the children benefit, not how the real estate agents, construction companies and bankers benefit. If we are to spend $36 million which is a real, concrete number, then we should also hear real specific benefits how the benefits are worth that type of expenditure. Unfortunately that's not what we are hearing.
Meanwhile the No crowd continues to put forth reasonable and rational arguments why this bond measure is a poor spend on helping the children. The facts are as follows:
- 2014 KFSD Graduation Rate: 47%
- 2014 Klamath Union Graduation Rate: 62%
These are not only embarrassing numbers, they are tragic. One out of every two seniors last year did not graduate. What kind of future does that build for Klamath Falls and Klamath County? Does this bond measure commit to do anything to fix the education problem? Of course not. The City School officials have it all under control. (We’re not supposed to ask these questions). Just pass the bond measure and they’ll go away for a few years until they come back to remodel another building that is near collapse (and who is maintaining the buildings and the budgets for these buildings anyway)?
The emotionally driven people, who use personal experience and compassion as their guide, will vote Yes. The people who see the real problem, and wish to hold School Administrators accountable for their poor education system, will vote No. The question is which is Klamath Falls made of: reasonable people or emotional ones?