Vote yes for all school measures
January 22, 2014
Everyone in Sammamish is going to have a chance to weigh in on school-related tax increases. Residents in both of the city’s two major school districts will have measures on the ballot.
There is no doubt that voters should approve all of the various bond and levy requests on the Feb. 11 ballot arriving in mailboxes this week.
The biggest ticket item is the Lake Washington district proposing a three-quarter of a billion dollar bond. It’s a lot of money, but it’s worth the price. Student populations are growing and will continue to do so. The district doesn’t have the option of saying it’s full, they must have a seat for each student who shows up.
Voters rejected a bond in 2010, but the needs that bond was designed to address haven’t gone away – they’ve intensified.
Beyond Lake Washington’s bond, both districts have levies to support their day-to-day operations. The levies are all replacement levies, while they represent a tax increase, they are not a new tax.
Issaquah’s Maintenance and Operations levy last’s four years and pays about 21 percent of district classroom costs. Lake Washington’s Educational Programs and Operations levy serves the same role and pays 22 percent of that district’s costs.
Those two are, perhaps, the most important of the levy questions, and their passage is most critical to district operations.
Both districts also have a four-year capital levy that seeks technology funds and building repairs. Computer replacement and upgrades are a way of life in today’s world, and maintenance of our school buildings is not an option.
Issaquah voters also have a transportation levy proposed for one year, buying 71 more fuel-efficient school buses with higher safety standards.
Teachers and computers are the foundation of a good education.
Neither the state nor the federal government offers help in funding technology, but few would argue that computers are an unnecessary expense in educating tomorrow’s leaders.
Building repairs may not directly benefit education, but are essential components of district operations.
Everyone in society benefits from quality public schools. Vote yes on all of the bond and levy measures.