As you know, the results from the February election for the district’s Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) and Capital Projects Levies were strong. In fact, over 65% of voters approved the EP&O levy, while over 64% approved the Capital Projects Levy; both measures required 50% approval to pass. However, the bond measure, which needed 60% approval to pass, reached 57.79% approval, and therefore did not pass.
I want to personally convey my gratitude to the PTSA leadership, who worked so hard to support the campaigns for these measures. Your efforts mean so much to this district’s success!
While the bond measure did not pass, we still have urgent needs that the bond would have funded. The needs remain. Enrollment continues to grow and our aging schools still need to be modernized. So, what’s next?
Immediately, the district began polling efforts to better understand the results. A statistically valid, random sample poll was conducted this past week, and our district’s Board of Directors will rely on that feedback, as well as other data, to inform direction and next steps. The Board has conducted a work session on the topic to discuss options, and further discussion and decisions will occur during the Board of Directors meeting on Monday, March 3. We will communicate information directly to parents following the meeting.
At this time, I want to focus on the passage of the two very important levies and remind us all of what these measures will fund and enable the district to do for our students. While monies from these levies will not begin to be collected until next spring (March of 2015), planning can now begin with the assurance that we will have this steady source of funding for the next four years.
Here are a few highlights of what we can continue with the passage of the Educational Programs & Operations Levy:
- We can continue to provide teachers with professional development.
- We can keep to our schedule of updating curricula on a regular cycle so that students have up-to-date materials from which to learn.
- We can sustain our current levels of transportation service.
- We can continue to provide funding for important extracurricular activities and athletics.
- We can continue programming to meet the needs of our students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), our English Language Learners, and our students in need of extra support and intervention.
Here are few highlights of what we can now do with the passage of the Capital Projects Levy:
- We can continue to refresh and replace staff and student computers on regular cycle.
- We can improve our server and network infrastructure to ensure security and reliability.
- We can purchase new software and programs to support and enrich student learning.
- We can move ahead with our planned building safety and security upgrades.
- We can protect the community’s investment in our facilities by replacing / upgrading major systems, as needed, like roofs, flooring, heating and ventilation.
For all of these things and more, I am grateful to the voters of our district. They have approved continued funding, for four more years, making a huge difference to students in our schools every single day. Thank you again for your continued support of the district and our students.
Dr. Traci Pierce
Lake Washington School District