School measures to fix overcrowding | Letter

Jan 08, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

We are writing to inform your readers about an important election this February. The Mukilteo School District will have two measures on the ballot.

The first is an Education Maintenance and Operations Levy proposal, which replaces the levy expiring in 2014. This levy provides almost 23 percent of the district’s operating budget, and maintains and enhances programs not funded by the state.

These include services for special needs students, increased staff support in classrooms, student transportation, professional development and all extracurricular activities.

The second measure is a bond proposal that will build a new elementary school at the old Lake Stickney Elementary site and an early Learning Center adjacent to Fairmount Elementary.

It will also provide the resources to make our schools safer and to bring our antiquated technology systems into the 21st century.

Our district enrollment is growing, especially at the elementary level. We have four of the five largest elementary schools in Snohomish County, and those four are dramatically overcrowded.

That is only part of the story. Eight of 11 of our elementary schools have more than 600 students. The core facilities in each of these buildings are tested every day: libraries, cafeterias, and play fields, even the restrooms.

And we are running out of room for portables.

This is a daunting challenge for all of the people in the district who are engaged in providing a quality education for each of our students particularly at the elementary level. It’s hard to know every child by name and need in buildings with so many kids.

Passing a bond requires a supermajority of voters. The last bond proposal in 2008 “failed” with a 59.9 percent majority, needing only 220 more votes to have passed.

It’s been more than 10 years since we’ve added any buildings, during which time our elementary enrollment has increased by 939 students. ]

Now more than 700 more housing units are scheduled to be built in the district, requiring even more elementary student space.

We hope you’ll go to the district website, www.mukilteo.wednet.edu, for more information about the two proposals and visit the campaign website, www.Yes4MukilteoKids.org, to find out how you can help.

Finally, we urge you to vote “Yes” on both of these critical measures. The Mukilteo School District is known for providing an excellent education for all of its students and for responsible use of its funds.

Help us sustain that success. Our children are counting on your support. Their futures begin in our schools.

Sincerely,

Paul Salas and Judy Schwab,

Co-Chairs,

Citizens’ Team for Mukilteo Schools

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