Commentary: Why I’m voting yes on schools construction bond and tech levy

I hope you’ll join me in voting yes for both Proposition 1: School Construction Bond and Proposition 2: Replacement Technology/Capital Levy on or before Feb. 13. Our kids and our community are worthy of these investments for our future.

As a former director of the Edmonds School Board and its past president, I am uniquely aware of the funding challenges that plague not only our district, but others across the state. Whether we like it or not, school districts must depend almost entirely on local communities to provide this funding through voter-approved bonds or levies.

To be direct, the need is urgent. Nearly half of our 34 school campuses are over 50 years old and in serious need of replacement. Proposition 1, if approved, would do just that. It would fund the replacement of several schools, including Westgate Elementary (1958), Oak Heights Elementary (1967), College Place Elementary (1969), and College Place Middle School (1970) in addition to other critical safety and maintenance improvements. Proposition 2 would renew an expiring levy to ensure our students, staff and schools receive the equipment and technological infrastructure needed to support learning.

I have direct knowledge of the conditions of our many of our schools. I’ve walked their hallways. I’ve heard from their teachers. I’ve also studied the tax implications of these measures and how the district plans to pay for them. I offer two observations: first, that Proposition 1 and 2 are absolutely necessary, and second, the district has approached the drafting of both propositions in a fiscally prudent way, assuring that we maintain a low (relative to other districts in our region) and stable tax environment for the next 20 years.

Strong schools really do build strong communities. That’s why I support the upcoming school funding measures — because an investment in our students’ learning environments is a critical investment in our future. It shows our students that our community cares about where and how they learn.

I hope you’ll join me in voting yes on both Propositions 1 and 2 on or before Feb. 13.

— By Diana White

Diana White is an Edmonds resident and former director and past president of the Edmonds School Board.

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