An investment in education lifts all boats

By Troy McClelland, Chris Knapp and Rick Cooper

Two months ago, Economic Alliance Snohomish County, along with many others, encouraged our community to vote “yes” in support of the February Everett Public Schools Educational Program and Operations Levy and Capital Bond. The Everett Board of Directors has made the decision to re-submit the capital bond on Tuesday, allowing voters a second chance to vote in support of our future workforce.

At the core of a healthy community is a thriving school system. All of our efforts on behalf of local business and industry would be made tremendously more difficult but for the fact that we, Snohomish County, benefit from schools that are doing excellent work to educate our children, preparing them to become the highly educated and technically trained workforce mandated by the sophisticated systems and technology utilized by modern business and industry.

We’ve examined the Everett Public School’s capital bond request and believe that it is a sound business decision for our community. To maintain our strong and growing economy in Snohomish County — one in which today’s children will find opportunity and careers tomorrow — we must invest in educational facilities that give our children a place to learn that is safe, well maintained, and suitable for the tasks of teaching and learning.

Further, if we are to support the growth of existing business and attract new employers, our schools must be first-rate. The capital bond funds updated technology, ensuring our students are prepared for 21st century careers within the businesses our organization fights hard to retain and attract to our community.

Growth continues in south Everett and Mill Creek, and we applaud the board’s foresight in anticipating the need for additional schools.

This proposal matters far beyond the school buildings it will build, upgrade, and expand. By creating and maintaining world-class educational facilities, this bond will support programs and activities that create tomorrows prepared workforce and allow the Everett School District to attract and keep talented teachers and education professionals.

Our schools and our children are vitally important parts of our community and our future. Economic Alliance Snohomish County knows that an investment in our school systems is an investment in our future; we urge every voter to support our Everett and Mill Creek schools by voting “yes” on Tuesday.

The three authors are the president and CEO, the board chair, and the past board chair, respectively, of the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County.