Northwest NEWS

April 12, 1999

Editorial

Let's find solutions

   In response to last week's letter about athletic fields at Cedarcrest High School, I would like to clarify some points.

   First: the Riverview School District does not set teachers' salaries. The state sets teachers' salaries. The Riverview community supports M&O levies to give teachers additional pay that the state does not fund. Recently, the certified staff and the district agreed on a three-year contract. I wholeheartedly agree teachers in this state should make more. I invite any interested parents to ride the buses from Riverview to the State Capital on Thursday, April 22, to tell legislators to properly fund our children's greatest chance for the future: our wonderful teachers.

   Second: Athletics in our schools are not extracurricular. They are an integral part of the curriculum--teaching health, fitness, and self-esteem. I sincerely doubt that most of us went to schools that did not have proper facilities for the athletic director. Our children at Cedarcrest have had to do without.

   Riverview may or may not have programs my children use or that I particularly like, but I support them all because I know that there are many different types of children with many different needs. The problems, as I see them, are too many parents wanting the small amount of state and levy support that Riverview has to support all the individual programs that they want for the children. As a parent, all I can say is, we need to band together and vote for all the levies and bonds, or our kids are going to have a lot worse than what we have right now.

   And please don't tell me it is a tax issue. The district runs out its levies and bonds to maintain a level monthly amount paid for school taxes. Also, when your tax assessments go up, the amount you pay for school taxes stays the same or goes down because the tax base is expanded. When you see the school tax amount broken out on your tax assessment, please remember that includes the governor's salary, the lieutenant governor's salary, etc.

   Finally, it is a true statement that "you get out what you put in" when you talk about education. I'm praying the children can count on everyone's vote in the mail-in ballot levy coming in May for the Riverview Technology Levy. There will be open forums in Carnation and Duvall announced in the paper. "Riverview Schools are a crying shame" only if we don't do something positive for them.

   I like my schools. Let's not complain, let's find solutions!

Becky Nixon, Carnation