Halfway there. On Feb. 11, Everett School District voters approved a four-year levy to support the district’s operational budget. At the same time, a capital improvement bond proposal received a more than 58 percent positive vote, which would be a substantial victory in a political race, but a 60 percent majority is required for passage.
So, we are halfway there on these critical funding issues for our Everett kids, with another opportunity to provide the other half on April 22. The bond issue, which will allow the district to renovate existing facilities, build new ones to house enrollment growth, improve sites, upgrade building systems, and update technology programs is being presented again for voter approval. Capital needs are never ending and Everett has an enviable record of completing every project listed on previous bond issues. This package, which includes input from a citizens’ advisory group, ensures continuation of that fine record.
In regard to capital expenditures, I do want to mention the recently opened Community Resource Center. It has been suggested by some that this new district office was financed in a clandestine manner from bond issue money designated for other projects. This is not the case. After funding all the projects in the 2006 bond, the district had saved enough money from other sources to construct the new center. The decision to build this long needed facility was conducted in an open board meeting with public input after many years of planning. The Community Resource Center replaces inefficient, outdated facilities and will serve the district and pubic for the next 50 to 75 years.
Our teachers, administrators, support personnel and school board members are doing an excellent job for the students, but they need the necessary resources to continue this success. We, the voters, can make sure the local resources are there. Again, we are halfway to that goal. Let’s get that other half done by voting yes for the April 22 bond issue. It is an ongoing investment in our kids, grandkids and the future for all of us.