First and foremost, I want to say thank you to the more than 60 percent of the voters who approved the school construction bond on Nov. 7. The race to the finish line is not over, though, as we still have one more election coming up.
On Feb. 13, voters will be asked to renew the Federal Way Public Schools’ educational programs and operations levy, which is also known as Proposition One. This is a four-year levy that replaces the one expiring this year that voters have approved for the past 37 years. It basically provides funding for gaps not covered by state money and represents 10 percent of the school district’s budget. It funds 300 positions, which includes teachers, nurses and security staffing. These are all critical positions. For example, the state funds four security staff, and the levy provides funding for the remaining 12 positions. These are positions that Superintendent Dr. Tammy Campbell must have to accomplish her mission of providing a quality education to all our scholars. As a substitute para-educator – and member of the Citizens for Federal Way Schools Committee — who works at many of our schools, I know firsthand what an important role these individuals play in ensuring that our scholars succeed and our strategic goals are met.
Another reason you should vote yes for this levy is that it is a win-win situation for taxpayers. I say that because, in 2019, for the first time, your district tax rate will be reduced 37 percent, which means you will pay $570 less in taxes in 2019.
That would be welcome news to any individual or family.
A bond is for building new facilities, but a levy is for learning. So please join teachers, parents, local businesses, community leaders and me in supporting this vitally important levy by voting yes for Proposition One. Thank you for your continued support of Dr. Campbell and, most importantly, our scholars.
Gary Robertson, Federal Way