January 21, 2014
Vote yes for all three school levies
There is no doubt that voters should approve the three Issaquah School District levy requests on the Feb. 11 ballot arriving in mailboxes this week.
There are questions every voter should ask:
1) Is it essential?
The most important funding request is for the four-year M&O levy, paying 21 percent of classroom costs, including 485 teacher salaries. It replaces the current M&O levy. A transportation levy would only be collected for one year, to buy 71 more fuel-efficient school buses with higher safety standards. And the four-year capital levy seeks technology funds and building repairs. Computer replacement and upgrades are a way of life in today’s world, and maintenance of our school buildings is not an option.
2) Will the expense equate to better education for students?
Teachers and computers are the foundation of a good education. Better school buses and building repairs may not directly benefit education, but are essential components of the district operations.
3) Will the money be well spent?
The Issaquah School District knows how to stretch a dollar. Issaquah is at the bottom of state school districts when it comes to per-pupil education funding, yet student test scores are among the top. Further, the district has a AAA bond credit rating, the highest possible. It often refinances bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates and stretch dollars even more. The state has given the district exemplary audits the past 11 years.
In spite of an increase of 1.7 percent tax over current school levies, all signs point to a yes vote for all three levies.