I am a South Kitsap graduate who moved back to Port Orchard after graduating from college and starting a family in Seattle. My children were toddlers when we moved here 10 years ago, and we thought that certainly another high school would be constructed by the time they needed it.
Recent inquiries to Kitsap County and Port Orchard’s departments of community development revealed that 6,410 new homes have been built in South Kitsap since they started keeping computer records in 2002, yet ZERO new schools have been added.
Those numbers do not include approved developments in Bremerton city limits (more than 600 homes) that fall within the South Kitsap School District, or future McCormick Woods projects. Certainly, there are children who live in many of those homes? Many portables have been added to most of the schools, but those are not adequate long-term solutions. The last new schools were completed in 1992.
How can our community expect to attract top-quality teachers, administrators, residents and businesses when we won’t even take care of our kids?
There is a nationwide teacher shortage. Why would good teachers choose to come here, when they can head to neighboring districts where the community supports their schools?
In February, Bremerton and North Mason, two districts that don’t have the best reputations, passed school bonds.
Central Kitsap and Bainbridge did, as well. Over 600 kids attend school in neighboring districts, many because they do not want to attend such a giant high school. We should not be okay with that.
I honestly don’t know if my children will attend South Kitsap High School. We are looking at other options for them. But I am definitely voting yes for the school bond, because I know it is good for the entire community, not just the kids.