ForHHS2’s Reaction to Council’s Vote on 1/23/18

ForHHS2 is disappointed in the result from last night’s City Council meeting. There is a misconception that Council voted ‘YES’ for a second high school; however, the motion that passed included a budget for a 2021 open with a timeline of 2023. This motion is not viable.

We appreciate that all Council members now agree overcrowding needs to be solved post haste, and we welcome conversations about fiscal responsibility. We question the validity of the financial reports presented at last night’s meeting. City staff did not include measures to reflect adjustments for inflation, building costs, or actual operational costs for the public to review. In addition, it doesn’t include a analysis of the risks represented by delaying construction for two more years.

We are interested in how School Board will respond to this vote, and we suggest Council and School Board organize a joint session with a public forum to listen to the community, clarify the impact of the delay, and discuss the matter further.

ForHHS2 still believes our students and the crisis of overcrowding should be priority one. Furthermore, we believe in having access to top quality public education. For this, we invite all the residents of Harrisonburg—teachers, students, and advocates to fight for our children’s access to quality education by contacting City Council members.

Investing in quality education is our most valuable asset and if Council is really serious about this issue, they should respect the process that School Board has conducted in analyzing the many different possible solutions.

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