Jan 292014
 

Issaquah Press – 01/29/2014

Why do Realtors endorse school levies?

Realtors know high-quality schools are important in every neighborhood. Good schools are a priority — and not just for parents. Savvy buyers and sellers know that quality schools are a factor in home values.

Seattle King County Realtors recently heard presentations by Issaquah Schools Superintendent Ron Thiele and school board member Suzanne Weaver. They took time out of their busy day to make the case for students in Issaquah, and to answer questions from brokers.

Realtors understand the importance of supplementing state funding for basic classroom needs, but as homeowners and taxpayers, we are also concerned about the “return on investment.”

Issaquah residents can be proud of the exemplary financial management by district officials who earn consistently high marks on audit reports, and the highest bond rating of any public school district in the state.

Equally impressive are student achievements on various academic assessments. They significantly outperform their in-state and national peers. Teachers deserve praise for their role in these accomplishments.

In addition to endorsing renewal of the Maintenance and Operations Levy, we also endorsed the School Bus Levy and renewal of the Capital Levy for classroom technology and critical repairs. Upgrading buses is essential to meeting safety and efficiency standards.

Just like the fleet of buses, much of technology used throughout the district needs to be updated. These vital tools are not covered by state funding. It’s also time to invest more in repairs and maintenance of several buildings.

As one of our colleagues stated, supporting school levies is not a matter of altruism — it’s economics.

I’ll be voting “yes” three times on the Feb. 11 ballot, and I hope residents districtwide will join me.

Joan Probala, managing broker

Windermere Real EstateEast Inc., Issaquah

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