Commentary: Join me in voting yes to support schools

Edmonds School Board President Deborah Kilgore

Voters in the Edmonds School District will soon receive a ballot in your mailbox, and I am asking you to join me in voting yes in support of the school capital levy. The levy will provide much-needed funding for safety upgrades, maintenance and operation of our schools, and building additional capacity to meet present and future population growth.

Before the pandemic closure in March 2020, it would have been hard to imagine what our communities would look like without public schools. Now, we have an idea. Children, families and community members rely on Edmonds School District not only for the high-quality education we provide, but also for healthy meals, fitness and health, safe neighborhoods, community building, entertainment, jobs, economic development, emotional support, and much more.

As a School Board Director, I take the job of stewarding our tax money seriously and I know the importance of keeping our schools well maintained. Half our school buildings are more than 50 years old and require careful and continual maintenance to extend their useful lives. Imagine, for instance, if we were unable to replace a roof in a timely fashion. Of course, there would be expensive consequences and ultimately, the entire building would fall into disrepair and become a blight to the neighborhood. Investing in the upkeep of our school buildings is the cost-effective and right thing to do.

As a parent, I know how important it is for schools to be safe and welcoming for students. Many of our schools need safety upgrades like new fire alarm systems and secured entries. Some of our older schools require expensive replacement of boilers that came with schools when they were new 60 years ago! As your children and my own return to their school buildings, I want to know that they are safe, protected from the elements, and breathing clean air while they learn.

As a longtime resident in the area, I know how important it is for our school district to keep up with population growth. All that new housing construction you see means more families and children. Currently, there are 44 portable buildings used in elementary schools throughout the District, and schools remain over-crowded. The levy will include funding to complete Spruce Elementary and replace Oak Heights Elementary, important steps toward alleviating overcrowding.

Please join me in voting yes for the capital levy. For more information about the levy, please visit

— By Deborah Kilgore, President, Edmonds School Board

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