Jan 212014

Sammamish Review – 01/21/2014

Did you know Washington ranks 43 out of 50 states in per pupil education funding per “Education Week,” and Issaquah ranks 292 out of 295 in Washington school districts in state per-pupil education funding? This is still true even with the McCleary decision. State funding hasn’t changed enough to bring us anywhere close to a national average.

So how is the per-pupil funding so low, and our schools so great? Issaquah counts on every single levy dollar to make it work.

The Issaquah School District has the lowest administrative costs as a percentage of their budget of any other district in King County.

A 2011 study by the Center for American Progress ranked Issaquah as the No. 1 district in the state for return on educational investment. The district manages its resources with extreme care and has very talented teachers and staff excelling in their jobs.

So, yes, we really do have great schools, but we are only one levy failure away from losing that greatness. The Maintenance and Operations Levy alone makes up 21 percent of the district’s total operating budget.

On Feb. 11, we have a chance to keep our schools and community strong.

I encourage you to vote yes 3 times for Issaquah Schools. It takes the renewal of the Maintenance and Operations Levy, the School Bus Levy, and the Capital Levy to keep our schools great.

Lisa Callan

The writer is a member of the Issaquah School Board

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