We are constantly humbled by the support we receive from you all year round. The volunteers who give of their time, the donors who contribute so generously, and the taxpayers who literally provide the funding we need to stay in business. All of this so our Orcas Island students may have the most exceptional experiences in their public schools. We have so much gratitude for all you do. And we know when needed, we as a community rise to the occasion to support our public schools.
Now is one such occasion.
By now you have most likely received your ballot for the February election. On this ballot is the request for a 4-year levy by the Orcas Island School District. This is a replacement for a retiring Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levy.
Renewal of the “M&O” levy is critical to running our schools. Almost 20% of the OISD budget comes from this essential funding source. It helps pay for: staff, transportation, maintenance, food service, and extra-curricular activities. Without the M&O levy funds, we would have to cut services to such a dire level that we would essentially be non-functioning.
You may have heard that the Washington State legislature has been mandated by the State Supreme Court to fully fund basic education. Has that happened? No. Will it happen? We believe in time, yes. We will continue to travel to Olympia (as we are doing at the end of this month) to “move the needle” for this cause. Our local representatives (Sen. Ranker, Rep. Morris and Rep. Lytton) are well on board with fully funding basic education; our lobbying is directed at other legislators in an effort to remind them of their legal and moral responsibilities.
Until that time, we look to the generosity of volunteers, donors, and the taxpayers to support our public schools so that our Orcas Island students may have the best foundation for a great future. Please vote YES for the Maintenance and Operation levy. We cannot operate our schools without it – and we cannot pass the levy without your vote. Thank you so much.
Orcas Island School Board