Opinion

Guest Editorial

Vote YES on school propositions

school propositions by Citizens for Northshore Schools
Northshore voters are being asked to go to the polls Tuesday Feb. 6 to support three propositions for the Northshore School District.
   These measures sustain existing levels of academic programs and class size, provide for much-needed targeted facility improvements, and enhance the technology program to better prepare our students to compete in a tightening employment market.
   And most importantly, there will be no tax rate increase to area homeowners and taxpayers.
   The three measures are necessary, especially due to a recent reduction in state funding.
   Proposition #1, the Maintenance and Operations Levy, will, if passed, replace the current levy which expires in 1996. A two-year measure, it will provide $21.5 million in 1997 and $19.4 million in 1998. These funds will bridge a nearly 20% gap between state allocations for basic education and Northshore's actual costs, which include, among other things, books, materials, supplies, food service and transportation.
   Proposition #2 is a Capital Projects Bond of $49.7 million, to fund needed upgrades in four older schools, plan three future modernizations, renovate several elementaries, add more classrooms to high schools to meet enrollment increases, replace roofs, a heating system, wiring, and improve sports fields.
   Propostion #3 funds a two-year, $4.8 million Technology Levy to enhance the number of computer work stations in classrooms, user-access stations in libraries, telecommunications support, networking instructions software, and assistance to schools with their individual technology plans.
   These were not frivolously crafted nor are they the result of decision-making in the shadows. Parents, community, and business leaders worked with sharpened pencils and an eye to the checkbook on the committee, which developed the recommendations.
   The school board approved these recommedations only after holding three well-publicized community meetings around the district. The low turnout and lack of significant disagreement with the proposals at these meetings would appear to be a reflection of the community's overall satisfaction with the scope and quality of Northshore's educational product.
   While it is popular right now to be anti-taxation, it is often without consideration of the consequences. Loss of these reveues to the school district will damage the substance and quality of services provided.
   The voters in this district are too savvy to fall for last-minute attacks and disinformation, as seen in the recent defeats of other school issues on the Eastside. Those with concerns had every opportunity to express themselves through the district's public meeting process and failed to do so. And anyone with questions about these propostions is invited to contact Citizens for Northshore Schools at 481-4994.
   Make the effort to vote Tuesday, and cast your ballot in favor of the school district's package of propositions. Our students deserve this manifestation of our support for their futures.