LETTER: ‘Highline Public Schools has been a good fiscal steward…’

[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a Letter to the Editor, written by a Reader. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The B-Town Blog nor its staff:]

Dear Editor,

After voters approved school construction bond measures in 2002 and 2006, Highline Public Schools replaced most of the district’s deteriorating elementaries and Mt. Rainier High with modern safer schools designed for learning in the 21st Century.

Each project came in on time and on budget. The district also leveraged the bond funds to qualify for additional millions of dollars in Port of Seattle, state and federal matching funds to rebuild even more schools.

Additionally, the district saved taxpayers nearly $10 million by refinancing the existing bonds. Now with the economy on the mend, Highline Public Schools is asking the voters in November to approve a school construction bond to replace, renovate, and repair schools.

Log on to the Building for Tomorrow Today section of highlineschools.org to learn more about building conditions at the school proposed to be replaced or renovated. Or better yet, just talk to students, parents or teachers at those schools. They won’t give you a sob story but just tell the truth about the challenges of trying to learn in buildings with failing heating, ventilation, plumbing and electrical systems.

Des Moines Elementary, Highline High, Evergreen and Tyee students deserve to learn in a safer and modern educational environment just as much as students at the schools previously rebuilt or renovated. That is equity.

Highline Public Schools has been a good fiscal steward of our tax dollars.

Vote Yes for the Highline Public Schools bond on the November ballot.

Thank you,
Lois Schipper
Highline Citizens for Schools – Chair

[Have an opinion or concern you’d like to share with our Readers? Please send us your Letter to the Editor via email. Include your full name, please remain civil and, pending our review, we’ll most likely publish it.]


5 Responses to “LETTER: ‘Highline Public Schools has been a good fiscal steward…’”
  1. SSOS Sensible Spending on Our Schools says:

    VOTERS! Don’t be a bunch of Kool Aid drinking ‘go along, get a long’ type of citizens!
    Read the Bond Measure and you will see for yourself that this is a moneygrab by the Highline School District to obtain money it does not deserve! Make them accountable for all the money you pay them! They are high paid egocentric and power hungry and are playing the voters for fools. They know that people don’t read and have you seen ANY explanation of what this Bond REALLY represents? NO! Because they don’t want you to know! Our school property taxes will increase 60% and the Bond is written is such a way as to allow them to increase our property taxes over the next 21 years! Why would you allow someone carte blanche into your bank account? The Schools ratings are only 4 out of a possible 10……doesn’t that matter to anyone? And in 21 years they will have been paid ONE BILLION DOLLARS! For what? Concrete and wood structures that does not insure a better education for our students or maintenance any better than the lousy job they have already done! COME ON, YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT!!! LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD WITH A RESOUNDING NO! VOTE LIKE LAKE WASHINGTON SCHOOL DISTRICT AND KITSAP COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT DID.

  2. Des Moines Mom says:

    With each passing day our message of opposition to this Property Tax Bond is being heard in our community, the voters are realizing that The Highline School District cannot be trusted or believed when it comes to the hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

    The Mayor of Seatac has told us recently in a internet video that our economy has fully recovered? Now we are being told that our economy is just on the mend? While last night in Des Moines Jeanette Burrage told us our economy is still struggling and this bond should of been pushed back of couple of years before it was put on the ballot. We can see for ourselves what the current state of our economy is, WE Are Not Stupid. We see one empty storefront after another and know more are to come.

    How many of us our still underwater in our home loans? Are property taxes are at the tipping point. How many of our low income families that are just struggling to get by can afford the higher rents that will be pass on to them with the passage of this bond? How many children go to school hungry each day because their parents cannot afford to feed them and rely on the free breakfast and lunch program?

    This bond will be disastrous for everyone for decades to come. To leave this for our children to pay off is not investing in our children as some would have you to believe. The Highline School District and our city councils are asking us for money that we just do not have to give. More money is not the answer, demand accountability from our school district.
    Vote No on Prop 1!

  3. Don Wasson [email protected] says:

    Dear Ms Schipper,

    I apologize for refering to you as Mr.Schipper.

    yours truly,

    Don Wasson

  4. Rick Hardy says:

    Wow this is post by the Highline Citizens for Schools Chair is putting “lipstick on a pig”. If Highline School District built schools that had spaces actually used for learning, and properly maintained them, I might be more inclined to vote for this.

    What Highline School District needs is to properly fund maintenance for schools. The new buildings I’ve seen in the district are a waste of space due to some architect dream to see his design on the cover of an magazine rather than properly utilizing space for learning. Highline School District has NOT been a good steward of our tax dollars. I’ve heard since the new elementary schools were built, many maintenance issues have cropped up due to poor choice of materials and the schools are already deteriorating after just a few years.

    20 years ago we spoke out against the district’s plan to close Des Moines Elementary and build a super warehouse school in Zenith. The real thrust behind this was to sell the Des Moines Elementary property to some developer for view condos. Anyone that lives near can imagine what a mess that would make of the downtown neighborhoods with increased density and traffic. At the time of this proposal, some of the Des Moines City Council publicly endorsed the plan to close Des Moines Elementary and sell the land, without first getting input from residents nearby.

    And I have to question the school district again coming to the voters to rebuild Highline High School. It was rebuilt 20 years ago, leaving the facade and redoing everything inside. Now it needs rebuilt again? This makes my argument for the district’s lack of fiscal responsibility.

    The district over the last 25 years has done the equivalent of buying a new car and never changing the oil, then trying to get a new replacement when it breaks down.

    I vote no on this upcoming levy since the district has shown a lack of fiscal responsibility.

  5. Des Moines Mom says:

    So who are all these people under the Superintendent? (Her administrative entourage) that our hard earned money goes to? Written on a previous post:

    If you want more information about what the central office employees are being paid, visit here:

    The Superintendent’s Cabinet has 11 employees that make altogether over $1,638,344.00! Each one has a Department under them as well that consist over 34 Chief/Officers that make well over $100,000.00. Just under the department of Teaching, Learning and Leadership alone there are over 16 Director/Officers. I know a lot of these positions were created by the Superintendent. We have a Director of P-3/Early Learning who makes over $127,000.00, just over a year ago they made $40,000.00 for Edmonds School District! An Assistant Director of Special Education who makes over $118,000.00 only made $76,000.00 at Kent School District. I met the Chief Operations Officer back in May when he was the Director of Security, in 2012 he was Director of Transportation, in 2011 he worked for South Kitsap School District for $46,000.00. We pay him over $162,000.00 now, and it is these Chiefs/Officers that are currently peddling for our money! A few things I still cannot answer is why we are paying for so many Chief/Officers when we have Rats roaming our schools! Why is it 75% of our kids receive free lunch and breakfast yet we can afford to pay Chiefs/Officers more than other school districts? Why do we have a Teaching, Learning and Leadership Department with 16 Directors/Officers when we have the lowest of average in academic ratings based on greatschools.org? You know we only have 23 maintenance workers for the whole district, yet 34 Chiefs/Officers? I think this is proof they are letting our schools fall apart. Why pay for maintenance workers and retirement packages when they can just ask us for money to rebuild schools every 20 to 30 years. We have supported this school district since 2002, enough is enough, I want accountability before I empty my pockets again! I am voting NO on PROP 1!

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