Opinion

Discrediting school district used as way to fail levy

levy & bond issues For decades, the Northshore School District has passed levy and bond issues with substantial public support.
   Two years ago, the levy and bond issues were passed with a substantially reduced margin of approval.
   There are efforts in some school districts to fail levies in an attempt to change the educational system through a process of revolution rather than evolution.
   We have reason to believe that an effort will be made to discredit the Northshore School District in an attempt to fail our levy measure on Feb. 6.
   I moved to this area because I wanted my children to be educated in the Northshore School District. It had, and still has, a reputation as an efficient and effective school district.
   We need only look north to Snohomish to see the problems that result when a district fails to pass a levy. They now have larger class sizes, fewer teachers, and reduced services.
   Our state funds public education at a minimum level of financial support. Our school district has asked voters to approve additional funding, in the form of levies and bonds, which allows them to provide an educational experience that is one of the best in the state.
   For many years, the citizens of Northshore have chosen to pay additional taxes to allow our district to provide those additional programs.
   The district's levy request is a replacement of the last levy and is not a rate increase. The levy rate will stay the same, at about $5.98/1,000 of valuation.
   Do we have a perfect system? Of course not.
   At the national, state, and local levels, a substantial review of public education is underway. Our district is a part of that process and is involving our community in every phase of this evaluation.
   Contact the district if you have a question about the levy or have heard something that is unsettling to you. Get the facts and then make your decision.
   When you have done that, I am sure you will agree with me that we must continue to support our school district and vote yes on the levy.

Ken Goodwin, Co-chair, Citizens For Northshore Schools