A caring and informed option
February 2, 2010 · 1:56 PM
I am voting "yes" on both of the school levies! See the back of your ballot for the second one.
As a teacher in the state for the last 37 years, I have witnessed the constant, continual and sometimes divisive battle to acquire and maintain funding for schools. Most citizens, most of the time, have been willing to become informed, understood the critical needs, and have sacrificed to pay taxes to support quality valley schools. Their support has been humbling, appreciated and effective in educating thousands of our Valley's youth. Those who have voted "yes" and sacrificed to pay the taxes year after year, decade after decade, and generation after generation have helped build the high quality of rural life and outstanding educational system we have in the Valley and every one of them deserve our praise.
Unfortunately, to date, after countless political battles and posturing, the state has still not stepped up to the plate to fully fund basic education and rather than bite the bullet, make the political sacrifices to reform our current antiquated funding formulas, the legislature as a collective whole, continues instead, to cut funding year after year for the bare essentials and then lay the bill at our doorsteps. Every one of our current three legislators, Sen. Cheryl Pflug and State Representatives Jay Rodne and Glen Anderson, and all those that preceded them, even though well-intentioned and involved, have as yet not been able to acquire adequate funding from our state system for even the bare basics of our school system, let alone money to build vitally needed new buildings. Now, with an economic downturn, the effect of valuing divisiveness and posturing over consensus is magnified as never before. Even though this is sadly true statewide, not just in our Valley, local voters and most citizens statewide have refused to let their school systems fail as a result of inadequate state funding and have voted in countless levies and made the sacrifices necessary to put educational funding for our valley youth, above their own personal needs and desires.
Regardless of political persuasion, or passion or posture, the solid reality is that the funds provided or denied by the passage or failure of these levies, will drastically affect our entire Valley school system, from bus service, to number of teachers, to safety technology, to... you name it — and have a detrimental affect on numerous measurements of the quality of life Valley-wide.
So the only caring and informed option available to us, today, is to pass both levies and then continue to apply additional pressure to our elected legislative representatives, elected school board members, etc., to make meaningful consensus on educational funding reform their highest priority.
The bottom line is that these levies on our ballot today must replace the "sunset" of the current levies, which will no longer be able to provide the funds for critical and significant educational programs.
They must be replaced with a "yes" vote from each of us.
Please carefully and thoughtfully consider voting "yes" for both school levies.
Snoqualmie resident, Two Rivers School teacher