Vital for voters to pass Federal Way school levy | Commentary

Dr. Jack Bermingham - Contributed
Dr. Jack Bermingham
— image credit: Contributed

Federal Way Public Schools has worked tirelessly at forming partnerships and developing pathways that encourage students to be prepared to take college-level classes when they arrive at Highline Community College.

Highline and the Federal Way school district have worked closely together to provide new and innovative strategies for students to continue on to higher education.

It is vital for Federal Way to pass the Educational Programs and Operation (EP&O) levy in order to ensure that schools have the capacity to support students.

I am particularly concerned that a “no” vote will send the wrong message from Federal Way citizens to Olympia. We are living in a time when the Legislature is under pressure to fully fund K-12, and the Federal Way community’s message should be loud and clear that yes we do support education.

The school district’s leadership, teachers and staff have earned the voters support by improving student success, developing innovative partnerships and gaining regional and national recognitions.

The district has several effective collaborations with Highline Community College, including Gateway to College, Running Start, Career Start, Achieve and College Ready.

These programs may not be familiar in every household, but their impact on the community remains significant. They work because the school district strives to support innovation and addresses barriers to success, while increasing standards and accountability.

As a college, Highline benefits from strong collaboration with the school district to make movement between the schools and the college for our students as seamless as possible. Students are advantaged by opportunities that are created when the schools and the college function well together.

Although the EP&O levy does not go directly toward funding our partnership, it supports the day-to-day work of the school district that makes innovation and student success possible in Federal Way’s schools.

Collaboration with the college and other important programs in the school district are at risk without the levy’s passage.

Don’t miss this opportunity to invest in the future of Federal Way and its children.

Dr. Jack Bermingham is president of Highline Community College.


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