Key issues face school district, Tukwila this fall | Editor’s note

Hate to say it, but those dog days of summer are about to end and the serious business of the fall is about to begin.

Hate to say it, but those dog days of summer are about to end and the serious business of the fall is about to begin.

Of course, September means the start of school. Thousands of kids will return to their seats on Wednesday, Sept. 4, after the Labor Day weekend.

The school year is full of promise, with a new superintendent bringing bright new ideas to build a sense of school community and to create a learning environment where all of Tukwila’s students succeed.

The fall is a time to recommit to the idea that everyone has a role in educating our kids, especially parents. Sports connect students to their schools, so they, too, deserve the full support of district officials and the community.

And, the fall means elections.

Two positions are contested on the Tukwila School Board. Incumbent Mary E. Fertakis and Jennifer L. Johnson are running for Director District No. 1. Incumbent Alicia Waterton and Bobby Cruz are running for Director District No. 3.

A big success for the School Board was the hiring of Superintendent Nancy Coogan. But the board still must provide the community leadership necessary to resolve the employee race issues in the schools. Those issues often are dealt with administratively, but the board is the community’s voice and that voice must “inform” administrators’ decisions.

There are numerous issues facing Tukwila’s schools, all of which deserve the full attention of administrators and School Board members. They range from student achievement, to diversity and equity, to aging schools in need of upgrades. Let’s concentrate on student-centered mandates.

It’s time to change the conversation about Tukwila schools and involve everyone in those talks.

I am a little wary of using the word “unfortunate” in the next paragraph. Don’t get me wrong. I think the City Council members up for re-election are doing a good job.

But it’s unfortunate that those four – Verna Seal, Allan Ekberg, Joe Duffie and De’Sean Quinn – are running unopposed. By unfortunate I mean there won’t be a chance for the four to go through a job interview with their bosses, the voters of Tukwila, in a campaign. Maybe there are other ways to get them all together.

Communities benefit when there is a vigorous vetting of candidates and issues.

And, this fall, there are plenty of issues for Tukwila residents to watch and speak up about.

• The City Council is updating the Tukwila’s Comprehensive Plan. That may seem a bit dry, but the plan embodies the guiding principles that determine how the city will develop and prosper.

• Legal marijuana is coming to Tukwila and now is the city’s chance to regulate where it’s grown, sold and consumed.

• Tukwila Village will become yet another centerpiece in the city, with its apartments, shops and a new King County library.

• The city’s Strategic Action Plan is filled with priorities that include making Tukwila and its neighborhoods more livable and its economy competitive.

Tukwila is on the move. And just like it takes everyone to educate a child, it takes everyone to power a city forward.

[flipp]

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