Supporting Our Public School Levies

Spokane School Levies

Fourteen area public school districts will have a levy on the Feb. 14 ballot (which drops in the mail Jan. 27). These levies fund vital programs and resources, such as textbooks, teaching materials, extracurricular activities, classified support staff and a lot more.

The levies will fund bus transportation and vital programs and resources, such as textbooks, teaching materials, extracurricular activities, classified support staff and a lot more.

The Executive Committee of Greater Spokane Incorporated voted on behalf of the Board of Trustees to support the school levies.

Here’s why:

Quality public schools are essential to maintain a vibrant community. Today’s students are tomorrow’s small business owners, CEOs, employees and more. Providing them the learning tools and skills today will help them transition to post-secondary education and their careers later in life.

Recently, Providence Health & Services announced it will be bringing 250 jobs to Spokane. An article in The Spokesman-Review stated:

“The health care programs offered at area colleges and universities ensure that Spokane has a pool of qualified workers and opportunities for further educational training.

‘That’s a big part of why the Providence board looked to Spokane,” said Providence spokeswoman Sharon Fairchild.’”

With the proper training tools in elementary, middle and high school, as well as at our colleges, universities, and vocational and technical schools, companies will be more confident in selecting Spokane as a place to do business and hire our area workforce.

GSI’s K-12 Roundtable works to drive education initiatives, while our Higher Education Leadership Group (HELG) focuses on higher education issues. Both groups bring educators and the business community together.

In the case of the upcoming replacement levies, the business community will benefit by having a talented workforce pool to choose from. If these levies fail, our students will not be properly prepared, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education will be impacted, high school dropout programs could be cut, and other programs and services will simply go away. A key economic driver is an educated child.

Local Effort Assistance (LEA) allows property-poor school districts to receive extra financial assistance from the state so the public education tax burden is more equitably shared among property poor and property rich districts. In Governor Gregoire’s proposed budget, LEA funding was completely cut. We don’t know what the final LEA funding amount will be once the legislative session is over, but it’s clear that these school levies are more important than ever to keep our public schools functioning in a way that fully supports the needs of our students. We do not want to put extra burden on our public school districts.

The bottom line: Levy funding contributes to our schools preparing our future workforce.

More information on area public school levies:      Online | PDF

We’ll discuss public education at our Jan. 13 Good Morning Greater Spokane Program

Top photos courtesy of Spokane Public Schools and West Valley School District


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