Ballots for a school levy have been arriving at your homes and I want to make one thing perfectly clear: This levy maintains what we have now. It is not going to fund new facilities. No new gyms. No new athletic fields. For years, the school district (wisely, I think) has earmarked levy funds to maintain our school’s facilities.
Here’s the good news: Our current taxes are already paying for the maintenance program, because we’ve been passing levies since 2002. The last levy is now running out and we just need to renew it. The old levy was collecting about $900,000 a year. The new one will collect $920,000, so the actual increase will only be $20,000 a year or $3.50 extra per average home.
What will this money be buying us? It pays for people to do preventive maintenance work on school facilities, some new and some reconditioned equipment and a couple of major projects such as heating systems. On the technology side, it will fund staffing for tech support and system management; upgrades to the network infrastructure; training for teachers; computer upgrades for classrooms, libraries and labs; and software licensing.
We need this levy because the state is not providing enough for basic education and is, in fact, in contempt of a Washington State Supreme Court decision requiring more generous funding. If we want this done, we have to do it locally. Let’s do it.
— Jim Hauser