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Vote yes for schools | Letters
Tough times or good times, it seems to me that the very best way to make sure our society can be successful for all is to make sure we have well educated people to run that society. The only way to do that is for all of us to join together to support good education. We’ve been waiting for the state to fully fund since the 1977 Doran decision – so we’d best not wait for the latest State Supreme Court decision to force the legislature to fully fund our schools. We need to do it! And we need to do it now!
Yes, after working at OISD for just under 30 great years, the Orcas schools are dear to my heart. And yes, I do have three terrific grandsons attending the schools and I care mightily that their educational needs be met. That’s my full disclosure, but beyond all that, there are hundreds more children on our island who need the best we can give! Please join me in voting yes for our schools’ levy.
Providing our island children with a strong education is vital to the health of our community. Achieving this in a state ranked 38th in the nation for funding public schools is especially challenging during one of the toughest economic times in recent history.
Our school district leaders have worked diligently to create a sensible proposal that asks voters to approve a four-year levy to provide about 25% funding for vital operating expenses including the salaries of all personnel, and such basics as keeping the lights on and books to read. The new four-year levy would replace an existing operational levy at a savings to tax payers of one cent per thousand.
It is important to note that the capital levy passed by islanders last November paid for critical upgrades to the elementary school like heating and clean water.
We have a great school! Teachers, staff, students, parents, community members and leadership have worked hard to create a positive environment where all children receive a strong education. That strong education yields graduating seniors who go on to successful lives as contributing citizens.
Please join us in support of our fantastic school and vote “yes” for the Orcas Island School District Levy.
Kevin and Nancy O’Brien
Vote yes for the Maintenance and Operations Levy in February that will be replacing the expiring M & O Levy. Revenue from this levy makes up about 25 percent of the district’s budget and helps to pay for teachers and staff that are not covered by the state, as well as other essential costs the district has. With additional cuts from the state ahead, it will be more critical than ever that the Orcas Island School District’s M & O Levy is passed in February!
Also, please contact your state representatives ASAP to insist they: find new revenue to adequately support, rather than continue to cut, education, social services and public safety that make our communities healthy and strong; support our existing public school classrooms and alternative learning programs with adequate funding, instead of siphoning off millions to create charter schools that voters in our state have already rejected 3 times; reject a state takeover of K-12 educators’ health benefit plans; and retain the current K-12 educators’ health benefit plan, which costs less and provides more than the proposed state health plan.
It’s easy and so important! Call or e-mail today. Their names and contact info are: Rep. Kris Lytton (on Education Committee!) firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-786-7800. Senator Kevin Ranker Kevin.Ranker@leg.wa.gov, 360-786-7678; Rep. Jeff Morris email@example.com 360-786-7970.
Anne Ford McGrath
The Orcas Education Association Executive Board