From left: Redmond Mayor John Marchione, Kirkalnd Mayor Penny Sweet and Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow. Courtesy photos

From left: Redmond Mayor John Marchione, Kirkalnd Mayor Penny Sweet and Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow. Courtesy photos

Our communities deserve great schools | Guest editorial

The Capital Projects Levy is critical to providing our Lake Washington School District students with room to learn

  • Thursday, April 4, 2019 3:30pm
  • Opinion

By John Marchione, Penny Sweet, and Christie Malchow

Special to the Reporter

Our region’s economy has grown and prospered. Our local businesses are thriving, the job market is robust and home values are rising, enriching the fabric of our community. As our cities have flourished, we have welcomed more families and their students creating significant population growth over the past decade.

During this time, enrollment in our Lake Washington School District has increased by 26 percent. This spike in enrollment has created an urgent need for more classrooms and infrastructure to provide current and future students with space to learn. That’s why we, as mayors of Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish, are supporting the district’s capital projects levy, which will be on the ballot in a special election on April 23.

The capital projects levy will provide funding to enhance security at our schools. This includes exterior security cameras at all elementary schools and modifications entrances to Eastlake, Lake Washington and Redmond High School.

The levy will also permanently increase capacity across the district for more than 1,000 students, funding more classrooms, as well as expanding gyms and cafeterias. Among the projects included in the levy are 20 more permanent classrooms at Lake Washington High School, eight new classrooms each at Benjamin Franklin Elementary and Rose Hill Elementary, and four new classrooms each at Rachel Carson Elementary and Mark Twain Elementary.

Unfortunately, the state does not pay for the majority of construction or capital improvements, so local districts must raise money themselves. We cannot let this opportunity pass us by to approve the capital projects levy for our schools and students.

High-quality schools are a critical contributor to prosperous communities and require schools with enough space for all our students. The capital projects levy isn’t just an investment in school buildings and students, it is an investment in the future success of our region. Our students and families deserve safe schools that aren’t overcrowded, are conducive to learning and inspire pride. A high-quality education positions our students for success into adulthood. Pride in their schools inspire graduates to stay in our region, raise their own families in our communities, continuing a legacy of success.

We are proud of our students, educators, staff and schools in our district. Our students living in Redmond, Kirkland and Sammamish need our support. Education is the foundation of any community’s success, and our cities are no different. This levy is an investment not only in the future of our students, but in the future of our community. As mayors of the three communities included in Lake Washington School District, we look forward to continued partnership and collaboration with the district.

Great schools are the backbone of our community, and we need to continue to ensure our students and schools have the funding they need to succeed. We urge you to support the capital projects levy and vote “Yes” by April 23.

John Marchione is mayor of Redmond, Penny Sweet is mayor of Kirkland, and Christie Malchow is mayor of Sammamish.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Guest columnist Greg Asimakoupoulos is chaplain at Covenant Living at the Shores in Mercer Island.
It’s time to talk turkey about turkeys | Guest column

So how do you feel about turkeys? When I was 12 years… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Not much changed from what we knew on election night | Roegner

This column was due before the election was certified. However, not much… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Washington’s secretary of state leaves big shoes to fill | Roegner

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recently announced she will leave her state… Continue reading

Dr. Jayendrina Singha Ray serves as Faculty of English at Highline College. Her research interests include postcolonial studies, spatial literary studies, British literature, and rhetoric and composition. Prior to teaching in the U.S., she worked as an editor with Routledge and taught English at colleges in India.
What the Afghan wants to say: A story of resettlement | Guest column

The wind is strong. It carries the colored leaves of fall to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
The rest of the story: Sound Transit, Rolovich and Lambert | Roegner

All of the reporters I know are ethical and trustworthy. But I… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
When it comes to power, Washington may be falling behind | Brunell

For years, Washington state masked its high business and regulatory costs with… Continue reading

tsr
Domestic violence victims need more housing options

Column: As a result of stay-at-home measures from the pandemic, domestic violence rates have worsened in King County.

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Why should the threat to Taiwan concern us in WA? | Brunell

Unfortunately, what happens in Taiwan doesn’t just stay in Taiwan — it… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Election 2021: Closer look at King County races | Roegner

The race for Mayor of Seattle will dominate the regional media, but… Continue reading

Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
Our economy works when consumers pick winners | Brunell

Poland and America are like two trains passing each other in opposite… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Big-time politics: Redistricting for 2022 elections | Roegner

Based on new census data, which shows Washington state has grown by… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.
Questions surround vaccine exemptions for state workers | Roegner

With about 4,800 state employees in 24 agencies requesting vaccine exemptions, which… Continue reading