Council supports school district levies

December 24, 2013

By Peter Clark

Three Issaquah School District levies will come before voters Feb. 11. After a public hearing during its Dec. 16 regular meeting, the Issaquah City Council unanimously voted to support the ballot propositions.

Superintendent Ron Thiele and Issaquah School Board member Anne Moore gave a description of how much the levies would cost the taxpayers and how the district would spend the money.

“These three levies are absolutely critical to the level of service in our schools,” Moore said. “We have excellent Issaquah schools that are part of the community. It’s really a win-win for the city and the schools to help maintain the school level that we have.”

Voters will decide whether to renew an expiring maintenance and operations levy, pass a capital projects levy and pass a bus levy. The maintenance and operations levy would go to fund basic classroom and operational needs. The bus levy would go to the purchase of updating the fleet with new buses. The capital projects levy would go toward technology purchases and facility repairs.

“A lot of people don’t know that the state of Washington doesn’t consider technology to be an essential part of learning,” Thiele said. “All of the technology that you see out in our schools has come from the community, and so we thank you for that.”

They said the three levies total would cost an owner of a $500,000 home an extra $40 per year in taxes.

The council spoke positively about the district’s use of previous levies and the ones up for vote in February.

“The school district is such an essential part of what makes Issaquah what it is,” Councilman Tola Marts said. “Our family has benefitted greatly. If people of the community wonder if the school district has been a good steward of their money, the answer is yes they have.”

Councilman Josh Schaer agreed.

“My children are just starting to take advantage of the wonders that the Issaquah School District has to offer,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that we as a society have to resort to levies to fund our schools as they are.”

No one at the public hearing or on the council spoke against the levies at the meeting.


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