District must do what is prudent

Record Editorial

The debate over the proposed middle-school boundary change in the Snoqualmie Valley School District has raised the eyebrows of many Valley residents, not just those on Snoqualmie Ridge. For the bulk of the Valley the debate centers on fiscal responsibility and providing our children with the best education.

A group of concerned residents are drafting alternatives to the proposed boundary change, but unfortunately most fixes will be temporary due to a changing population in the Valley.

There are some things that need to be considered by the school district.

We, as taxpayers, urge the board to be fiscally prudent and utilize the facilities to their fullest potential. Yes, this may impact students who will have to go to a school not located in their own town, but Snoqualmie Valley has always been one big community, stretching from the outskirts of Fall City to Snoqualmie Pass.

To spend tax dollars on a short-term fix doesn’t make sense when those dollars could be used to benefit many other district programs.

The solution chosen should impact the least number of students. If that means bussing kids to Chief Kanim, then that is the route that needs to be taken. To rearrange or disrupt larger numbers of children to accommodate the desire to have kids at Snoqualmie Middle School will do two things: It will cause larger numbers of parents to step forward with contempt for the decision, and it will further drive a stake between the age-old battle of Ridge residents and the rest of the community.

The facts are key to making the best decision. Chief Kanim Middle School will be under capacity next year and Snoqualmie Middle School will be over capacity. Both middle schools are exceptional in the education they deliver, but Chief Kanim is a blue-ribbon school, recognized for outstanding achievement.

The recent levy provided all residents of the Valley with improvements to the education process from new schools to technology upgrades to improved sports facilities. We overwhelmingly supported that bond and want to move forward with the facilities and upgrades approved by voters.

Fall City is an important part of our community, and it’s unfortunate that anyone would think otherwise.

As the population changes, effective utilization of resources will require further changes in busing and movement of students. Our school district is one of the largest territorial districts in the state and providing a quality education for all requires we utilize our facilities to their fullest potential.

Our school board was recently voted the top school board in the state, and our superintendent was presented the honor of being the top in the state. That is a pretty big vote of confidence that they have a track record of making the right decisions.

We also could add that our WASL scores are at the top end of the scale for middle-school students with Chief Kanim just barely edging out Snoqualmie Middle School.

Unfortunately, when new residents to Snoqualmie Ridge purchase their homes, they must be getting bad information. If those selling the homes are touting everything within walking distance and schools in the same town, then they are not being honest in their sales pitch. This issue isn’t just a Snoqualmie Ridge issue, it is an issue that affects the entire Valley.

Schools are a personal issue and the school board needs to realize that they should impact the least number of students and be fiscally responsible to all district tax payers.