Pay it forward by passing Prop 2 | Mukilteo Schools

By Judy Schwab, Mukilteo School Board President | Feb 05, 2014
Judy Schwab

No one likes paying taxes.

So when the Mukilteo School Board considers a bond package, such as the one that is facing voters now, we try to find a balance between critically needed capital improvements and the lowest possible impact on property taxes.

As a member of the school board, I can tell you that we make this decision only after a significant amount of serious deliberation.

Our first responsibility is to the children who attend schools in the Mukilteo School District. Over the past 10 years, we have been able to absorb student enrollment growth while still maintaining academic achievement.

We have seen outstanding improvements under increasingly challenging conditions.

The time has come, however, when our lack of space, technology and security are putting at risk the district’s ability to sustain those successes.

We, and the larger society, must have students who graduate, get jobs, give back to their communities and, yes, pay taxes to support basic services required by the communities where they live.

Since our last elementary school opened in 2003, our district has grown by almost 1,000 new elementary school-aged children. We have added portables and have had to increase class sizes.

Common areas such as cafeterias and libraries are at a breaking point. Several buildings are more than 50 years old, with crumbling boiler rooms and decrepit plumbing.

We are out of room to place more portables and out of money to add new space and repair rundown facilities.

The state will soon begin funding for all-day kindergarten and reduced class sizes for all children, but new classrooms are needed to make that possible. The state doesn’t offer the extra money that is needed to provide the additional space.

Meanwhile, new housing construction in our district means even more elementary students will be entering our schools in the near future. We must educate them all.

The school board has made what is, in fact, a modest proposal that will just meet the district’s most pressing facility needs. With no other way to find the necessary resources, I would consider it irresponsible as a board member not to ask our voters for those funds.

We are asking citizens to support critically needed resources that fund academic achievement. Because we are at the mercy of an antiquated and inadequate statewide school-funding model, if the citizens don’t provide this money, no one will.

If you benefitted from an education that was funded by the local taxpayers in your hometown, this is the perfect opportunity for you to pay it forward.

Our children desperately need the space and improvements. I urge you to support our kids and their futures for the good of our community. Vote “Yes” for Proposition 2, the Capital Facilities Bond.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.