Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion provided laughs and giggles for a gym full of Peter Kirk Elementary students in February.
Superintendent's Message - May 2017
Building on Success
Last week I was honored to accompany 30 LWSD school teams to the 2016 Washington Achievement Awards ceremony. This year 30 schools in our district earned a total of 73 recognitions including: overall excellence, high progress, ELA growth, math growth, English language acquisition, and closing the achievement gap. These awards reflect the hard work and efforts of teachers/certificated staff, classified staff, and administrators. The awards also reflect the hard work and efforts of our students and parents. All our schools should be proud of the work they do every day to help every student learn, grow, achieve, and be Future Ready.
We are fortunate to experience success in many ways in our district. We are a high performing district with academically successful students. We also enjoy a high level of parent and community involvement and support. We rely on our resources, human and otherwise, to help us be successful.
Resources help us fund improvement and success. As a public-school system, we rely on public funding. The majority of our funding comes from the state and though local levies and bonds.
When it comes to state funding, according to the state constitution and the McCleary ruling, the state must fulfill its constitutional obligation to fully fund Basic Education. However, today a significant amount of Basic Education is funded locally, through Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levies.
Even if the state were to fully fund Basic Education, school districts will still need local funding measures (levies and bonds). Enhancements to Basic Education, technology, facility upgrades, and new classrooms and buildings are not considered Basic Education and will not be funded by the state. Therefore, local funding measures are needed.
There are three local funding measures that Lake Washington School District runs on a four-year cycle, according to our long-term “Building on Success” plan:
- Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy
Funds enhancements to Basic Education such as athletics, activities, and local programs such as New Teacher Support
- Capital Projects Levy
Funds classroom technology, technology infrastructure, and facility-related upgrades
Funds new classrooms and buildings needed to accommodate growing enrollment
“Building on Success” is our plan to ensure that LWSD continues to be a high performing and successful school district.
The district is beginning to plan for 2018 measures. However, since the legislature is still in special session, we are eagerly awaiting their plan to fully fund Basic Education. Until their work is complete, it is very challenging for the district to plan for the EP&O levy. The legislature has to complete their plan before we can know how to proceed with our EP&O levy plans. We remain hopeful that they will complete their work soon.
The capital projects levy and the bond are not contingent on the legislature. We are currently planning for the upcoming 2018 Capital Projects Levy and Bond. The work of Long Term Facility Planning Task Force informs our 2018 Bond planning, and we recently launched a survey to seek parent/community input to help inform our Capital Projects Levy planning.
We continue our efforts to ensure that LWSD remains a high performing and successful school district, and we appreciate partnering with our community to continue to build on our success. We are proud to be LWSD!