Northwest NEWS

May 7, 2001


Improvements will build a fine school district in which we can all take pride

After spending the past 20 years as an advocate for academics, I also recognize the important roles that extracurricular activities, such as school clubs, band and athletics, play in each child's formation. This was eloquently stated in Helen Mellor's letter to this column (April 9).
   Having moved to the area only two years ago, I find the controversy over the upcoming levy issue for athletic fields and repairs of existing school structures in the Riverview School District to be puzzling. There seems to be so many camps: Duvall vs. Carnation, households with children vs. households without, senior citizens vs. non-seniors, households with children in private schools vs. households with children in public schools, athletics vs. academics, and so on.
   My former residence was located in a town with an almost identical arrangement as Duvall and Carnation's, four elementary schools and a high school in one town, and one elementary and a middle school in the other, but one shared school district.
   With our school district relying heavily on property taxes, there were many years of different school levies during the 28 years that I lived there. But with each one, the two towns organized their campaigns together, holding information nights for the general public and going from door-to-door, providing everyone with a venue for feedback and to ask questions. Perhaps such an effort would help alleviate some of the controversy and correct misunderstandings.
   My children are grown, I am semi-retired, and the AARP insists that I qualify for "seniorhood" strong reasons for many not to approve of this levy.
   However, I believe that having decent athletic facilities on the Cedarcrest campus, repairing the leaky roofs on three of our buildings, and completing the Performing Arts Center to be an important investment in the children and the young men and women in our joint communities.
   These will help to build a fine school district in which we can all take pride.
   If you still need convincing, take a moment to flip back a few pages in this issue of The Valley View to the real estate section. Do the same for The Seattle Times. Count the ads for homes that mention school districts. Count the ones that do not. Why the difference? The answer lies in the last sentence of the previous paragraph.
   Janice Buchthal, Duvall