LETTER: Former Burien Councilmember: ‘Why I’m voting yes for schools Nov. 8’

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

Why I’m voting yes for schools Nov. 8:

As a member of Highline’s Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC), I have spent the past year on a mission: To address overcrowding in the Highline School District and ensure good, safe schools for all students. That’s why I am urging you to vote yes on Proposition 1, which will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot

Enrollment in Highline schools has increased by 1,500 students in the past five years alone, with no slowdown in sight. After a thorough study, our committee created Proposition 1. It’s a smart, efficient, long-term approach that prioritizes our most urgent needs and tackles the problem in three phases, to help keep costs down for taxpayers.

Proposition 1 was created by CFAC, a group of 40 parents, community members, business owners and neighbors, not by politicians. It is supported by the Highline School Board because it reflects what individual schools need at the neighborhood level, designed by people who know best.

This bond measure provides additional classroom space so our children have the best opportunities to learn, and make room for lower class sizes. We will build a new Highline High School, a new middle school, and a new elementary school for Des Moines. Proposition 1 includes money to design new schools at Evergreen, Tyee and Pacific, so we can build them more quickly and efficiently in the next phase.

All students across the district will benefit from safety improvements, including centralized locks and improved surveillance cameras. Aging schools do not meet modern fire or earthquake codes and lack technology to monitor people coming and going. This measure will address those safety and security concerns.

Proposition 1 saves money in the long run by dealing with problems now when they are cheaper to fix. If we pass it, the state will provide matching funds. The timing of this bond proposition is a win-win for taxpayers.

It’s clear that voter-approved bonds are the only way to build schools. Bonds are financed over 20 years and must overlap to keep up with instructional needs, growth and security.

This bond will reduce overcrowding and address safety issues, while keeping costs down for taxpayers. Delaying hurts kids and costs taxpayers more in the long run.

Good schools benefit the whole community. Join me in voting yes on Proposition 1 Nov. 8.

– Rose Clark
Capital Facilities Advisory Committee member
Yes for Highline campaign volunteer, Highline Public Schools
Former Burien City Councilmember

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