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The reasons to vote yes on the school levy

 

How the levy dollars will be used

I strongly encourage a yes vote for the levy that Lake Roosevelt School District has requested. The proposed levy will allow the school district to break even, but it will also allow it to address some of the major issues that the community has been voicing concerns over.

The following is a chart that breaks down what the school district is asking for:

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Over the past year, I have taken the opportunity to visit and look at the physical state of the K-12 school building, as well as the old high school that is being used for many different types of classes, as well as events such as High School Graduation. There are many needed major repairs, such as:

· Deteriorating playground surface (there are gaping holes)

· An HVAC system that does not operate sufficiently in the old high school

· Bleachers that are in need of updating

· The high school gymnasium floor needs to be updated

The technology at the school needs to be updated, in a world where technology continuously has to be advanced to avoid becoming obsolete. The school is trying to modernize computers and other instructional technology equipment and infrastructure.

There are security upgrades that are needed to ensure the safety of our children. For example, right now if an alarm goes off in the old high school, the main building and the district office have no way of knowing unless someone calls, and vice versa between the buildings. Cell phones are the way that the bus drivers communicate with the school, but we live in an area where cell phone service is unpredictable; a switch to radios is needed. The school needs better camera systems to ensure the safety and security of our kids.

Right now, with the current funding, none of those things can be taken care of, and they all need to be. Paul Turner, the superintendent, stated to me that "unless it breaks, I don't fix it." It's a pretty sad thing for a school to say, but it's true because there is no funding to be proactive.

A positive vote for the modest levy that has been put forth will allow the school to support safety upgrades, technology upgrades, improve the facilities to include the issues noted above, and fix some of the issues with the roof and HVAC system at the middle school which the school district needs to still maintain. The levy is modest because they are cognizant of the financial stress many of our families experience. The least we can do is recognize that they are not asking for much, but plan to do quite a bit with what they are asking for.

The school is looking at a four-year projected budget with an uncertain influx of kids and a poor cash reserve. I'm rather new to the area, having only lived here for two years, but one thing that was clear to me even before I got here, from doing research on the schools, is that there are many that criticize the school for a variety of issues. However, when we criticize, we have to try to provide solutions. If we want it to operate the way it should, we need to make sure that we support it. That support comes in a variety of ways. It comes by supporting levies to make sure that our school facilities are up to par and are secure. It comes by volunteering to get more adults in the school that can potentially reach these kids in a positive way to help make an impact on the bullying and discipline issues. It comes by supporting your child's teachers when they voice concerns about your kid's behavior/performance and not viewing the teacher as an enemy.

Strong communities support their school, and good schools enhance the community.

Amanda Burton

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