Support Enumclaw School District’s coming bond issue | Letter

Please vote “yes” to approve the Enumclaw School District capital facilities bond measure on April 28.

The April 28 measure will extend the 1997 capital facilities bond at exactly the same rate, not a penny more! This bond will rebuild the core academic buildings, gymnasium and auditorium at Enumclaw High School, and rebuild Black Diamond Elementary where 40 percent of students are in portables. Taxpayers can expect to see their tax rate remain flat and likely experience a rate reduction as new houses and business come into the Enumclaw School District.

Times and education expectations have changed dramatically in the 50-plus years since these buildings were built. For example, readers may recall taking a typewriting class somewhere around 10th grade whereas, “keyboarding” instruction now begins in kindergarten and third-graders face a state test requiring a full page of keyboarded text. Dozens of academic requirements and extra-curricular programs have expanded since EHS was built.

Most have forgotten that EHS athletic and activity facilities were built with only a handful of boys sports in mind, rather than the dozens of boys and girls offerings now forced to share the inadequate space and facilities. And while sprawling one-story campuses with dozens of unsecured points of entry were reasonable in the 1960s they are no longer ideal for safety and security.

It makes sense to take action now! Bonding rates (like mortgage rates) are still good, as well as the construction bidding climate – both helping to save taxpayers money and maximize our return. But passing this bond won’t be the “slam dunk” some people think it will be. Most districts have to run a bond several times before it passes because a bond requires a staggering supermajority of 60 percent to pass. While a school levy (levies are for learning) may pass with a simple majority, a school bond (bonds are for buildings) requires 60 percent approval. It takes a lot of volunteers to help spread the word to friends and neighbors, and contribute toward the campaign’s budget for reaching 16,000 voters.

4rKids4rFuture needs all stakeholders to engage in the campaign. Please, don’t wait to see if it can pass without your active participation. The time is now to make sure this passes the first time out – once and done! Volunteer, contribute and be an advocate for children at www.4rKids4rFuture.com.

As co-chair Johna Thomson has said, “We don’t want to find ourselves on the one-yard line when the game is over on April 29.”

Nancy Merrill, co-chair

4rKids4rFuture