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We urge a NO vote on Unfair Props 1, 2, & 3
Our State taxes are going up to pay for Education. We should reject this levy because we will be funding critical education needs through our State taxes.
The McCleary Decision required the State to fully fund basic education. In response, the Legislature passed House Bill 2242 in July 2017. Section 301 authorizes the State to collect $3.60 per thousand of assessed property values, far more than $2.03 that is currently being collected.
Starting in 2018, the "State" portion of our property taxes will increase substantially to pay for the McCleary Decision. For a median priced house, this increase will be about $1,200. Plus, the $400,000,000 Bond Measure passed in 2016 will add $300 annually to our school property taxes. The District says that this levy will only cost $1.03 per thousand, but that still equates to $700 per year for a median-priced home - on top of the State tax increase.
This is not a replacement levy. HB2242, section 202(14) prohibits the use of Operations levies to pay for basic education. It is not clear how the $64,000,000 collected annually from this levy will be spent, but it can't be spent on basic education.
Proposition 2 provides $36,000,000 annually for two competing needs: Technology and Capital Facilities Improvements. Although the District states that 35% is for Facilities and 65% is for Technology, Resolution #2245 authorizing this levy is vague and does not contain a mandate for how the money will be apportioned. Too much goes to Facilities. Too little is spent on Technology.
District Administration uses its discretion on how it spends levy money without conferring with the School Board or getting approval. Millions of dollars have been spent adding portables. Improvements such as fencing at stadiums, electronic reader boards, and audio-visual equipment are purchased and installed with little notice or feedback from parents, teachers or school administrators.
Funds generated by this levy are not being adequately dedicated to Technology for our students. Computer technology is chronically outdated and poorly functioning. Wifi and networks in schools are slow and inadequate. Parent and student access programs are slow and unwieldy. Grading, student assignment and coursework, and communications software programs are primitive. District technology staff members are doing their best, but it appears that not enough money from this levy is directed at Technology.
Vote No. Tell the District to run a levy specifically for Technology.
Our region has experienced explosive population growth during the past 20 years. All of our schools are so full and overcrowded that the District uses 170 portables. This bond measure provides little new classroom space, spending most of the money on school replacements..
Facilities Planning is broken. We need new schools. The District has not added any new schools in Kirkland since Kamiakin Junior High was built in 1975. This bond measure would tear down and rebuild Kamiakin. It would put an addition on Lake Washington High School that was rebuilt in 2011 for $88,000,000 and is now too small.
Middle schools and high schools inside Redmond and Sammamish are so overcapacity that science classrooms, libraries, and lunchrooms are inadequate. Neither city will get new schools from this bond measure. Elementary schools across the district are all full.
Past Lake Washington School District bond measures have been paid down slowly, often using interest-only balloon payments. We now owe $887,000,000 on bond principal and interest - and 2016 bonds have not all been issued. We cannot afford to spend $299,000,000 more if all money isn't dedicated to new school construction.
Vote No and tell the district to use your money wisely.
When your ballot arrives, Please vote NO to LWSD Propositions 1, 2, and 3. Then mail or put in ballot drop box by February 13!
These Propositions are the wrong plan at the wrong time.
Paid for by Unfair School Taxes Committee - 18024 NE 99TH CT, REDMOND WA 98052 - Email: info@UnfairTaxes.net