Letters to the Editor

Support Lake Washington School District measures | Letter

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

I am a mother of four kids who are attending schools in the Lake Washington School District: Juanita High School, Kamiakin Middle School and Frost Elementary. I would like to urge everyone to support the upcoming measures for two levies and one bond.

Frost Elementary School was rebuilt a few years ago and the improvement in efficiency and flexibility of use have been huge. It will be able to accommodate future technology innovations in teaching our kids so that they are ready to contribute in the world as it is and as it will be. However, if no new schools are built, the projected increase in new students in the district will mean that the library will have to be used as a classroom and not a library. The gym and the art and science room will have to be used as classrooms and physical education, art and science instruction will be significantly reduced. This will not be good for my children or the future of our community.

Kamiakin Middle School and Juanita High School are both aging and inefficient in resource use. Without the renewal of the levies and the passing of the bond, more and more of a smaller pot of money will have to be spent on upkeep instead of instruction. This will not be good for my children or the future of our community.

Besides the quality of education for the children of our community, who are our future business leaders and politicians, our home values are tied to a certain extent to the quality of education in our school district. Here is an excerpt from a statement by the Seattle King County Realtors urging support of the three Levy/Bond measures: "Collateral Analytics, a Honolulu firm that specializes in analyzing real estate data for financial institutions and investors, has examined connections between schools and home values." The company concluded that during housing downturns, “areas with exceptional schools tend to hold their value better than the market overall. Moreover, homes associated with great schools generally sell faster, in good markets and bad, according to company president Michael Sklarz."

The Seattle King County Realtors did not make the decision to support these measures lightly. Here is another excerpt from their statement, "In considering endorsement requests, Realtors look beyond statements of need," Christensen explained. "Track records on academics and fiscal matters are reviewed, he reported. "Among favorable factors in the endorsement decision were the district’s high on-time graduation rate (93-plus percent) and citations to 'Schools of Distinction' for outstanding achievements in math and reading over a five-year period."

Nielsen said it is also noteworthy that more students than ever met recent college-readiness benchmarks, and that LWSD spends more as a percent of its budget on teaching alone than any other district in the state with more than 20,000 students.

I hope you will join me in voting yes on all three measures for the benefit of all of us in our community. I know it's more money overall, but it's an investment that will pay off for all of us.

Tamsyn Carter, Kirkland

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