Please support all three LWSD ballot measures | Letter to the editor

Olympia continues to debate how to amply fund basic education.

But Lake Washington School District voters can take decisive action to support our children. The three LWSD ballot measures are critical to funding educational programs, maintaining infrastructure and reducing overcrowding, all at a reduced tax rate.

Proposition 1, the replacement EP&O Levy (educational programs and operations), pays for programs not funded by the state. Ms. Susan Wilkins’ letter to the editor failed to address what’s unfair and inequitable about lack of funding for educational programs. If this measure fails, our children lose badly needed instructional, health and extracurricular services – all the things critical to making school a safe, comprehensive life-learning experience.

The EP&O Levy will provide campus security and summer learning, as well as coaches, athletic trainers, athletic directors and activity advisors. None of these things, however, are covered by the state’s funding model. For classroom and health needs, the levy covers nurses and health room staff; teacher substitutes; and teachers in special education, Safey Net, highly capable and English Language Learners, PE, music, libraries, and early learning (Head Start, Ready Start and Special Education). Moreover, it provides additional professional learning days.

With passage of the EP&O Levy, high school students will be able to pursue their passion and still graduate on time. The district plans to implement a seven-period day to support all students in meeting the state-required graduation schedule of 24 credits in four years.

With passage of Proposition 1, children will be able to do STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) plus a full schedule of fine arts, physical fitness and occupational studies, and not sacrifice their passions in order to meet graduation requirements. This will increase LWSD’s competitiveness among school districts and offer our children a superior education.

What breaks my heart about reduced funding for educational programs is that we lose exceptional, qualified teachers. I ran into an elementary teacher who taught my sons.

She started her career teaching my oldest son in Kindergarten, who will graduate from college this year. She was an exceptional person, a gifted teacher who managed her classroom with a firm and knowledgeable hand. She loved her students and brought out their best.

She had to leave her calling as a teacher for more compensation. Sadly, thousands of students will never have the opportunity to learn from her, to excel under her tutelege and years of experience and leadership.

Once lost, this talent can never be reclaimed.

LWSD has a comprehensive quality of life and education vision for all students. The vision takes into account all abilities, aptitudes and passions inside and outside the classroom and still meets the graduation requirements and schedule. The four-year levies give LWSD and teachers four secure years of planned funding with budgeting and implementation. All this with a reduced tax rate.

I’m voting “yes” for my youngest son’s classmates, who will graduate in two years. I’m voting “yes” for all the elementary and preschool children who live on our street.

Please give all our children the best start to their young lives. Please vote “yes” for all three ballot measures.

Susan Baird-Joshi,


More in Letters to the Editor

Raves for U.S. Postal Service | Letter

Thanks for the passionate service you and your crew delivered last week.… Continue reading

Funding solution | Letter

Easy way to get rid of King County funding struggles: get rid… Continue reading

Wrong and scary | Letter

I thought that we were living in a civilized society? Where all… Continue reading

Inslee and climate change | Letter

Gov. Jay Inslee appears ready to announce his 2020 presidential run. Considering… Continue reading

Neighborhood parking | Letter

We are all in favor of developing Kirkland for the better. However,… Continue reading

Kiwanis tree lot a huge success | Letter

The Kirkland community and surrounding neighborhoods came through once again this year… Continue reading

Thank you Rep. DelBene | Letter

The Building Our Largest Dementia (BOLD) Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act has just… Continue reading

A challenge to readers | Letter

[To Samantha Pak] I enjoyed your Windows and Mirrors story in the… Continue reading

Fraudster-in-Chief | Letter

In October 2016, a neighbor explained to me he was supporting then-presidential-candidate… Continue reading

A missed opportunity | Letter

Your article (“Let’s talk about race,” Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Dec. 14) missed an… Continue reading

United we stand — divided we fall | Letter

I can’t really believe that there are people that believe if you… Continue reading

One way to address homelessness | Letter

Why is Seattle’s homelessness problem getting worse not better? Some people are… Continue reading