Letters to the Editor

Support school district measures | Letter

Kirkland letters - Reporter file art
Kirkland letters
— image credit: Reporter file art

Ideally we have homes with the right amount of space for our families and daily functions. But what if more family and friends also want to live in this great area and need to move in with you? You can make room for a couple of extra people. But what if they keep coming? Pretty soon you have RV’s sitting on your lawn and your house looks like the Griswold’s when Cousin Eddy comes to stay.

OK, this is not a likely housing scenario, but this is the kind of overcrowding the Lake Washington School District is facing right now, except it is portables instead of RV’s choking school grounds. And it does affect us and our homes.

Housing prices are linked to school quality, period. This is true when markets are hot and when they are slow. If you are selling a home within a good school district, you will get more money for that house and it will sell faster. And knowledgeable buyers see these homes as better investments whether they have kids or not.

The basic truth is that the Washington State Legislature does not fund the school districts to the degree necessary to keep up the quality of our schools. So school districts often must turn to levy and bond measures to fund school construction, technology enhancements, ongoing maintenance, teachers’ salaries and more. In fact, all of the Eastside school districts surrounding LWSD also have levy and bond measures on the upcoming Feb. 11 ballot; we do not want to slip behind.

Since I’m a real estate agent living and working in Kirkland, I have a personal and professional interest in the quality of the Lake Washington School District. I feel fortunate that my two kids are getting competitive educations without private school expenses. I see the limitations at the outdated school my youngest attends versus the advancements and space at my older son’s newer school. I see the motivated teaching staff throughout the district as I volunteer in their schools. And I see clients coming to me with “quality of schools” high on their list of house buying requirements. How could I not vote yes for LWSD schools?

I’m not the only agent advocating for the levy and bond vote. The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors confirms this viewpoint in a recent press release: “Schools have a significant impact on home values," said Sam Pace, a housing specialist with SKCR. “It’s not just families with school age kids that are concerned about the quality of schools when buying a home … Savvy buyers know that quality schools will be a factor in the sales price when it’s time to sell.”

When your ballot arrives for the Feb. 11 election, vote “yes, yes and yes” for the two levies and bond to support your neighborhood schools.

Cara Erdman, Kirkland

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