Tukwila school measures critically needed | Allan Ekberg, De’Sean Quinn

We urge you to vote YES three times for Tukwila schools on the Feb. 9 ballot. There is a School Programs and Operations Levy, a bond and a Technology Levy.

  • Monday, January 18, 2016 3:27pm
  • Opinion

Dear Tukwila friends, neighbors and residents:

We both care deeply for this community, and as city leaders, we agree that our community’s vibrancy, economy, safety, health, property values, and future are only as strong as one thing — our local schools.

That’s why we urge you to vote YES three times for Tukwila schools on the Feb. 9 ballot. There is a School Programs and Operations Levy, a bond and a Technology Levy. We served on the diverse community committee that helped develop these measures, and they are fiscally responsible; based on the critical needs of students, and will prepare graduates for in-demand, 21st-century jobs.

Here’s why we are supporting these measures:

Tax Impact: The district projects NO increase in the average school tax rate even if all three measures pass. No increase because all three are renewal measures replacing expiring taxes.

Student Impact: The two levies will continue essential classroom programs and provide technology to support the diverse learning needs of each child. The bond will repair and replace infrastructure such as roofs and heating systems that have exceeded their lifespans, increase safety in our schools and expand classroom capacity to accommodate an expected 18 – 44 percent growth in enrollment in the next decade.

Future Impact: The bond is very innovative in the way it expands our schools. Foster High School and Showalter Middle School will each receive a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) academic wing. These spaces will focus on the skills and knowledge graduates need to compete and thrive in our dynamic global economy. At the elementary level, the district will build an Early Learning Center to significantly increase preschool opportunities for Tukwila families. Research shows that preparing each child to enter kindergarten ready to learn is one of the most effective ways to improve achievement throughout the entire school system.

When you receive your ballot in mid-January, please vote to support local schools. The measures are fiscally responsible and critically needed. Your vote is not only an investment in our children, but also an investment in the strength of the entire Tukwila community and its future.

Sincerely,

Tukwila Mayor Allan Ekberg

Tukwila City Council member De’Sean Quinn

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