FW Chamber endorses school levies | Letters
January 20, 2012 · Updated 12:52 PM
The Federal Way Chamber of Commerce supports the upcoming school district Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Replacement Levy and Capital Projects Levy.
Both are crucial to the students of Federal Way. We know that well-supported schools are an important element of a strong, local economy. We can be proud of the academics the district provides our children and teen population. The district has run a lean budget for many years despite severe ongoing cuts in state funding.
Many awards of distinction have been given across the school district for performance, including all four of the district’s comprehensive high schools being named among the country’s top 1,500 high schools by the Washington Post in 2011.
The EP&O Levy simply replaces one that is expiring and supports some teaching staff, textbooks, athletics, technology, security and transportation. The Capital Projects Levy will rebuild Federal Way High School and at substantial savings. There is already $50 million for this project available, which is made up of leftover funds from the previous bond measure and anticipated state matching funds. Legally, this money cannot be used for anything other than construction costs. The total cost for rebuilding the school is $110 million with the remaining balance of $60 million from taxpayers.
Now is the time to rebuild Federal Way High School. Major systems in the building are urgently in need of replacement, but putting expensive plumbing, heating, roofing or wiring into the decaying building just doesn’t make sense. While the need is great, the opportunity is even greater. The Federal Way Chamber is offering a “YES” on both measures to provide high quality facilities to the children of Federal Way, and we urge you to do the same.
Lori DeVore, board chairwoman, Federal Way Chamber of Commerce