Superintendent's Message - January 2017

    Formal portrait of LWSD Superintendent, Dr. Traci Pierce

    Growing Together, Serving our Community

    Welcoming 2017

    Happy New Year to all Lake Washington families and students! We are looking forward to continued success and new opportunity in 2017.

    As we ring in the new year in LWSD, our eyes are on the Washington State legislative session. We are hopeful that 2017 is truly the year the legislature fulfills its paramount duty to fully fund basic education for every student in Washington State.

    In 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the State of Washington is violating its constitutional “paramount duty” to amply fund the education of all K-12 students. Since that time, the legislature has been ordered to make steady, real, and measurable progress toward full funding. The plan for full funding is to be determined during the 2017-18 legislative session, which begins January 9.

    As advocates for Lake Washington students and public education, our Board of Directors and I met with our local legislators in December to share the Lake Washington School District's 2017 legislative platform. We also shared how our district relies on local levies to fund basic education.

    Currently, school districts throughout the state overly rely on local levies to fund basic education. Local levies are supposed to fund enrichment beyond basic education. However, due to the lack of state funding, school districts have come to rely on local levies to fund the basics, like teachers and staff salaries.

    LWSD Reliance on Local Levies to Fund Basic EducationThe infographic on the right highlights how much revenue LWSD collects through the voter-approved Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy. It also shows how much we stand to lose if the legislature allows districts to experience the “levy cliff,” by restricting our ability to collect local funds and not replacing them with state funds. It also shows how much of our EP&O Levy goes to support basic education costs of staff and staff salaries.

    The Lake Washington Board of Directors and I believe it is imperative that the legislature follows through with the Supreme Court’s order to develop a comprehensive, stable, and sustainable funding system for our schools and our students.

    As we welcome 2017, we remain committed to fulfilling our Every Student Future Ready vision for our students. We also remain hopeful and optimistic that this year the state will fulfill its constitutional duty to fully provide for the basic education of every student in Lake Washington and Washington state.