Letter: Vote yes on school measures

Jan 24, 2018

I hope that many of you who read this have had or will soon have the opportunity to have your students attend Mukilteo public schools.

Our children graduated well-prepared for life beyond high school and now our family is looking at the next generation heading into kindergarten in a few short years.

It is worth noting that Kamiak High School has a 92 percent 4-year graduation rate and a 96 percent 5-year “extended” graduation rate.

Why is this important?

It ranks it among the top high schools in the state based on school demographics exceeding many Eastside ones like Bellevue, Newport, Redmond and Skyline (Issaquah).

This isn’t an accident.

It’s because voters continue to support our schools and our students throughout their K-12 education.

Of course, teachers and support staff play an equally important role in this success!

As our long-time superintendent Dr. Marci Larsen noted earlier this month, Mukilteo School District voters will soon receive ballots to approve two local levies - one for education programs and the other for capital technology improvements.

At the same time, last year, the state Legislature redefined the meaning of what’s known as “basic education” under state statutes.

For several years now, the Legislature has been working to comply with something called the “McCleary decision” that required it to comply with state constitutional language to provide ample funding for basic education.

However, despite the work done by the Legislature to equalize funding for students across the state, the definition of basic education doesn’t include everything a school district needs to provide to students.

You might be surprised, but substitute teachers, school bus transportation, classroom materials and curriculum are not considered part of what has now been defined and funded by the state as basic education.

Along with that, technology infrastructure has never been a part of basic education and, yet, it has become a critical component in the delivery of a best-in-class educational experience. The relentless evolution of technology requires school districts to keep up with and also be efficient in the delivery of educational services.

I encourage you to vote yes on both the education programs and technology capital projects levies on or before Feb. 13.

 

Kevin Laverty

Mukilteo

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