Letters to the Editor

In tough times, we need our schools | Letters | Jan. 15

Bainbridge voters will soon receive their Feb. 9 ballot in the mail, including a request by the School District to renew the basic Educational Programs and Operations Levy. In tough economic times, it’s important that voters ask the hard questions before approving any ballot measure. So please think carefully about the facts:

First, this is not a new tax. This measure merely replaces the existing levy, which expires this year.

Second, this will not increase taxes. Your current taxes will remain stable through 2014. By law, the district cannot collect more money than approved on the ballot – even if property assessments rise.

Third, this levy pays for 21 percent of school operations. This is very basic stuff, like teacher salaries and classroom supplies. By law, the construction bonds approved in 2009 cannot be applied to operating costs.

Finally, state funding is again expected to be cut by millions of dollars this year. Your “yes” vote avoids further cuts of over 20 percent – equivalent to 80 full-time teachers and staff.

Be smart. Consider the facts before you vote. The levy is critical to preserving our great schools.

Bruce P. Weiland

Bainbridge Island

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