All of the press about the state now fully funding basic education is somewhat confusing. When I first heard there would be replacement levies on the ballot in February to support our schools, I wondered if it was necessary. Then I looked more closely at the facts.
Last summer, the State Legislature voted to hire more teachers to lower K-3 class size and to increase funding for employee compensation. This is great news. However, state funding still does not cover all the costs needed of running important programs, operations, and current levels of staff support.
We need these levies to maintain important educational programs and even to maintain the current level of services from our school nurses, counselors and support staff. Many programs and materials are directly tied to our local levies. This funding supports such quality programs such as our amazing music program, our innovative STREAM program, sports, and the arts. It also supports our buildings, classrooms, and school buses.
The technology levy will continue to update the schools aging computers and also provide access to all students by implementing a one-to-one computer initiative for students in grades 6-12 for school and home use, and classroom computers in grades K-5. These are all critical in providing competitive educational opportunities for our students.
As a teacher in Snoqualmie Valley’s wonderful Parent Partnership Program, I see evidence daily of how our district works to support the best educational opportunities for all of our students. Our award-winning school district is a quality organization that is fiscally responsible. These levies provide important funding to bridge the funding gap from the state of Washington.
Please join me in voting yes on these levies in February.
2016 Educator of the Year