The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Everett schools

District needs transparency

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This community has always supported our public schools, so why did the Everett School District bond measure fail? Maybe it failed because the board built a very large and expensive administration building without voter approval, and then promptly proposed a huge new bond measure due to school overcrowding!
The Herald published an official board letter from one member and an official guest commentary from another, both specifically denying use of any bond money for the $28.3 million administration building which opened last November. That may be technically true, but isn’t it misleading? Couldn’t the funds have paid for some projects now being used to justify the new bond measure?
Misdirection and secrecy make even a wise decision look bad. Current district communication seems to obfuscate more often than inform.
Contrary to what our newly re-elected board member recently stated, school board meetings aren’t “private meetings, held in public.” Board members are elected — and appointed — to represent the public interest.
Taxpayers deserve candid communication, open dealings and records, and easier access to information. We need to know what we’re paying for, and why.
We all want to have successful students, fairly compensated district employees, modern and well-maintained schools, and efficient transportation plans.
With mutual respect and shared information, the school district and taxpayers can work together to provide funding to reach those goals. Let’s remember, we’re all on the same side here.
Jean Lightburne
Mill Creek

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