I’m voting NO for the school levy. Here’s why.

The district didn’t support students and parents when it mattered most.

Editor’s note: A previous, unfinished version of this letter was mistakenly published online. The letter has been updated.

We moved here in 2019 from Colorado. I have been so impressed with the Enumclaw community. The caliber of people here is amazing. We had nothing but positive experiences with the school district here before the pandemic hit. I should preface this by saying, both my husband and I come from a long line of educators. I never imagined voting NO for any school-related proposal. It goes against my very being.

But, our children were kept out of school for almost a year longer than many other states and even when WEA President Delaney was questioned about our kids getting behind, he replied, “If everyone is behind, I guess no one is behind…”

When we went to see if kids could go back and we were met with roadblocks from the state government, we figured pulling our kids would make a difference with funding. Reykdal, from OSPI, said that if schools don’t comply with the mandates and you lose students, we will give you that extra funding. Again, an overreach of government powers to control.

While I don’t want to directly attack ESD because they’ve tried hard to do what they can but by voting NO as a community, they will see that either they need more government help, which will mean more compliance, or will be more aware of the damages of voting in legislators that are only from one party.

A bipartisan system functions so powers are remained checked. Maybe they will also think twice about those union dues? Their jobs have been the most protected during this whole pandemic. What power have parents had in the fight for their kids? None! Teachers have unions, and now tax payers have a levy, which appears to be the only avenue to voice our displeasure since we’ve tried so many others.

When a service or company doesn’t make you happy, you quit paying them. This seems to be the only way to hold them accountable.

To put it shortly, the school system in Washington has completely lost my trust through its lack of competence. What’s so disheartening is that this breach of trust now covers all aspects of school – even areas that we would love to support! We have no proof that they are going to use our money for what they say. If they need money, they can ask Gov. Inslee, who has their best interests at heart, or at least their unions (which take an unbiased political stance – right?). They should have some answers.

And those people in Washington who can’t stomach this madness anymore have already fled our beautiful state. We care about our kids but the school system didn’t for so long, so if you care about the kids long-term, I’d say to vote NO. It will help in the long-term for the children here as people will see that these long-term emergency powers need to end. We can always pay out of pocket directly to these programs we want.

Shayla Udall