Northwest NEWS

February 7, 2000

Editorial

Vote 'yes' on all three levies

   I am writing you to ask you to support the children of Riverview School District by voting "yes" on the three levies on the ballot in February.

   First and foremost is the replacement Maintenance & Operations levy. This is a two-year continuation of our current levy that provides approximately 20% of our operating budget in the district.

   Because the state only funds the most basic operations, levies are used to fund items such as smaller class sizes, education assistants, librarians, music specialists, PE specialists, counselors, and building maintenance and security. In addition, these funds purchase text books, library books, and provide safe transportation when walking conditions are hazardous. This levy is vital to our schools.

   Whether students work at McDonald's or Microsoft, our kids need well-defined technology skills to enter the 21st century work force. The State of Washington does not fund technology purchases, and our schools have fallen behind. Seventy-six percent of our computers are too old to run current educational technology software. This critical need is being addressed in the second levy.

   The Technology Levy will fund a basic up-to-date computer lab at every school in this District and will provide each class with a computer to be used by students and staff. In addition, this levy will fund the training, support, and installation of the equipment.

   Kids need to know how to use computers for research, writing, reading assessment, and math. We need these tools today. Vote "yes" for the Technology Levy.

   The third levy focuses on the Riverview School District's Performing Arts Center. This theater hosts an extremely popular vocational education program and is used widely by the community, as it is the only facility of its kind in the lower valley.

   How much will this all cost? Not much. Because the M&O is a continuation (not an increase) of current taxes and the fact that the transportation levy will have expired, your taxes for the 2001-2002 will essentially stay the same as in 1999. I remind you that while all of our property taxes have gone up, the local school tax rate has remained virtually unchanged for the last ten years.

   It is vital that you vote on Feb. 29. Please call me at 844-2252 if you have any questions.

Julie Lemery, Duvall