Mayor Ethan Strimling makes specious arguments in his March 16 op-ed advocating the four-schools-now bond. Let’s look at some of his points:

 It’s “wishful thinking” that the state will fund Reiche and Longfellow renovations: Reiche and Longfellow just missed being picked the last time the state decided who got funded. If the rankings change little from cycle to cycle, and those ahead of us won and are off the list, we could be winners this time. No guarantees, but waiting to see what happens is hardly an exercise in wishful thinking.

 The two neediest schools are being “cut”: The 2+2 plan will pass a $32 million referendum now to rebuild two of the schools, and then wait until the state makes its decision next year. If we’re rejected, we’ll move forward with the rest of the bond and rebuild the other two schools. And we’ll still be able to keep the same construction timetable.

 If we don’t act now, a future City Council could have “a change of heart” about fixing the other two schools: So we should trust Portland voters to do the right thing on a $64 million bond referendum, but mistrust them about electing pro-education councilors to complete the job if necessary?

 If you are not with us, you’re against our children: This rhetorical staple of the all-four-now parties ignores the fact that most who favor alternatives are equally committed to excellence in public education.

Finally, let’s imagine what the city could do with the $32 million it might save. Invested at 2 percent, that’s $640,000 annually. We could equip every Portland police officer with a life-saving dose of naloxone, hire eight to 10 new mental health counselors, double the amount of refugee housing provided by Hope House – or address the considerable other education needs that are looming.

Tim Wallace

Portland