I would like to share a conversation my wife and I had over morning coffee:
Hap: Have you filled out your ballot for the Everett Public Schools?
Clay: I thought the state Legislature solved the school funding problem. Why do we need another levy and bond for local schools?
Hap: The Washington Supreme Court told the Legislature to properly fund our schools. For years, lack of state funding meant that districts had to pass levies and bonds to provide adequate education to their children. Our 2014 levy will expire in 2018. Everett is the fastest growing district in Snohomish County and Snohomish County is the second fastest growing county in the state. Although the Legislature’s plan might satisfy the Court’s mandate, it doesn’t meet the needs of Everett’s kids. They deserve better.
Clay: Won’t our taxes increase if we pass a new school levy and bond in Everett? Our kids are grown up. Why should we have to shoulder the cost?
Hap: First, after 2018, our property tax rate for education will go down. That’s because, the old levy expires, the Everett replacement bond and levy tax rates will be less than the old ones so, despite the state increase, our property tax rate will go down.
Second, it’s our civic duty to educate children. Thomas Jefferson said of public education “no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.”
And Abraham Lincoln reminded us, “A child is the person who is going to carry on what you have started…the fate of humanity is in his hands.”
Now pass the sugar and fill out your ballot!
Clay and Hap Wertheimer