Help support the district by voting yes

Help us accomplish more with less. In last week’s edition, long-time Renton businessman Jim Sullivan gave the Renton School District well-deserved praise for the high quality of our teachers and support staff, and the care we take to maintain all of our schools and facilities.

The district’s leadership works hard to be responsible stewards of tax dollars as we continue to provide the best education for each and every one of our students. And now, due to the significant increase in property values, the total tax rate to fund both of our proposals will drop to $3.52 per $1,000 of assessed value — a savings of $462/year for the owner of a $400,000 home.

The Building for Excellence construction bond plan includes a new elementary school in the northeast part of the district to accommodate the growth there, and additional learning spaces at our high schools, needed to ensure we can offer the classes our students need to meet the new state graduation requirements. Every school in the district will benefit from needed replacements and upgrades to their facilities, such as roofs and HVAC systems, and importantly, safety and security features. School ballfields and playgrounds, and the turf/tracks at the high schools, so important to the community as well as to our students, are also scheduled for improvements.

The Replacement Educational and Operations levy included the usual list of maintenance and operational needs — classroom materials, teacher and support staff pay, and bus transportation — as well as electives and activities for our students, such as music, theater, arts and athletics.

You may wonder, with the extra funding provided to school districts by the state recently, why we continue to need these levy dollars, here are a couple of examples: the state’s funding formula provides only 2.5 nurses and 2.9 security staff for all 25 of our schools — our local levy funds are used to supplement these vital positions to a level of 14 nurses and 14 school/district security officers. In other words, our local levy funding is used to provide the level of service and opportunity for our students that the community expects.

We ask for your support in passing our bond and levy proposals. Please vote yes on or before Feb. 12 and remember there is no stamp needed to return your ballot.

Pam Teal

School Board President