January 25, 2013 at 3:48 am #606328
I just received my ballot for the Seattle Public Schools levy’s and I am mad. Why are we having a separate election for the schools. Didn’t we just finish an election in November? How much is it costing us to have this election? Is there a law that says they have to have this be a separate election?January 25, 2013 at 4:27 am #783419
I guess we can chalk you up for a ‘no’ on the levIES, eh, celeste17?January 27, 2013 at 5:58 pm #783420
i support schools; but i am with celeste17 on this one. in seattle the timing is moot the item would likely pass regardless. but in other districts it is about getting votes from focused voters only.January 28, 2013 at 7:40 pm #783421
Holding a special election insted of putting these levies to the voters during the last general election is only the tip of the waste iceburg.
The promotional materials state that all of the projects for the last capital levy came in on-time and on-budget, which for me begs the question of how much padding was in that budget if having 1.8 million stolen didn’t impact it?!
And their claims that the operating levies pay for supplies and art and athletic programs is streaching the truth – they may supply toliet paper and copy paper, but the parents (some via the PTA) pay for the classroom supplies and heavily subsidize the extra-curriculars.
I would find their promotional material less irritating if they were at least honest; insted of “do it for the kids, we’re only asking you for funding to maintain our current excellent record” they should say “hey, administration is a train wreck, and sure we wasted millions of your tax monly….but we’re holding your children’s education hostage, so whatcha gonna do?” =-/January 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm #783422
If we vote no to extend these levies, does anyone out there really think our taxes will then go down?January 28, 2013 at 7:48 pm #783423January 28, 2013 at 10:03 pm #783424
I would suggest everybody go here:
and read the “Statement in opposition” or read it (for Proposition #1) in your voters pamphlet. If reading this doesn’t say “fund the levies so we can at least have a chance at educating our children and maybe they can leave school with the ability to write a coherent sentence” then nothing will change your view on funding the levies. Worse part is that the writer of this jumbled mess is a former school district employee. I couldn’t vote “yes” fast enough.January 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm #783425
Totally agree with Celeste. They could have just given the money wasted on this election directly to the schools. There’s no reason why this could not have been included on the November ballot. Who is responsible for this ridiculous waste?January 29, 2013 at 8:54 am #783426
Vote Yes. My son just started Kindergarten. I am asking you to vote YES for this. Funding schools is part of our responsibility to the state and local school district.
The measures will replace expiring levy’s.
I supported your kids, please support mine.January 29, 2013 at 9:39 am #783427
To me its not the issue of voting yes or no but the timing of the whole thing. I would much rather have had this added to the general election rather then the cost of having this special election! I will do my duty and vote and I will read all the information provided to me to make a well formed vote. I registered to vote as soon as I could and have only missed maybe three elections in the past 30 years.January 29, 2013 at 7:09 pm #783428
To me its not the issue of voting yes or no but the timing of the whole thing. I would much rather have had this added to the general election rather then the cost of having this special election! I will do my duty and vote and I will read all the information provided to me to make a well formed vote. I registered to vote as soon as I could and have only missed maybe three elections in the past 30 years.January 29, 2013 at 11:19 pm #783429
I’m not sure why this is a special election but I did find out that the timing is State law and not something the school district controls. I also found this on Ballotpedia:
“A special election can be called at any time for school districts if a school district needs to issue emergency bonding for fire, flood, earthquake, or other act of God. All other special elections must be called for by a county legislative authority and can be held during the second Tuesday in February, fourth Tuesday in April, third Tuesday in May for tax levies that failed previously in that calendar year and new bond issues, and the third Tuesday in August during a statewide primary.”January 30, 2013 at 12:25 am #783430
I’ve lived here almost my whole life and I don’t think the school levies have ever been included in the November election (presidential or otherwise). I think they are almost always in February. These levies replace ones that were voted on six years ago and are now expiring. Please vote yes … I just spent 3 hours doing volunteer geography testing for my son’s elementary school and we were all bundled up in coats, gloves and scarves in the covered (but still outdoor) playcourt because there was no other space in the school that could be used.January 30, 2013 at 12:27 am #783431
Does anyone know – do other school districts have to ask the voters for 25% of their funding? Or do other districts just make do with what the state funds?
I lived on the eastside for many years and I never recall voting for this type of thing.
Perhaps Olympia just gives less money to Seattle knowing that Seattle voters will make up the difference?
As you can see I am a completely uninformed voter.January 30, 2013 at 12:39 am #783432
I read this article and I still feel like I don’t have enough information to make an informed decision.
I wish the state legislature would make these decisions instead of the voters. They are better equipped to make decisions than I am.January 30, 2013 at 2:01 am #783433
Here’s a first-hand evaluation of what the last levy funded, or didn’t fund:
“Programs and services to be funded by the levy include: 6th period classes at middle and high school levels [provided]; teachers and instructional assistants [overall quality, 4 of 10; Kindergarten year, no teacher–parents “taught” for first 3 weeks]; textbooks [provided] and classroom supplies [not provided]; bilingual [don’t know] and special education services [horrible; never complied with law; attorney would take on case if we wanted her to]; student transportation [had to fight for it for 3 months], security [personnel on premises–still, child choked out, hit by lunch trays, mother verbally assaulted by student, etc.–zero action taken], maintenance [horrific–did WSHS ever fix the vandalism from 2011 graduating class from whom SPS took funds from?] and other operations [apparently not]; student activities [incurred ~$600 expenses over 4 years], such as athletics [don’t know], arts [not provided], extra-curricular and co-curricular [not provided] activities; professional development and training [apparently, none].”January 30, 2013 at 4:45 am #783434
i do not see people arguing the need for the added school resource. the issue raised is spending additional resources conducting a ballot measure now instead of bundling it with the issues voted on in November when the added cost would have been nominal at most.
if the timing is per State Law, revising it so that measures can be bundled in with the November voting would save money.January 30, 2013 at 5:02 am #783435
Then you haven’t read the entirety of the thread, in which 3 posts address just that.January 30, 2013 at 4:47 pm #783436
Thank you singularname. But I’m still confused. I thought the state provided the funding for teachers, textbooks, maintenance, etc.
I’m guessing the state provides a certain amount of funding, but if a district doesn’t want 65 kids in each classroom then it is up to the district to raise the funds to pay the difference?
I still wish the state legislature would make the funding decisions. I simply don’t feel qualified to make this decision.January 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm #783437
The skeet-meister said:
I wish the state legislature would make these decisions instead of the voters. They are better equipped to make decisions than I am.
–Yes, there’s that. But on the other hand, if the state made ALL these decisions people wouldn’t like that either. Schools are funded partly by state money, partly by local levies, and I believe this arrangement is best because it allows (or rather, requires) local taxpayers to shoulder some of the responsbility for making sure the money is wisely spent.
The fact that we rekindle the are-we-getting-our-money’s-worth debate every time there’s a levy vote or bond issue is a good thing. It proves that the funding system is working as intended.January 31, 2013 at 5:41 am #783438
Weren’t levies at least tangentially tied into the recent court ruling demanding Washington State fully fund education, which they have not been doing for a long while now?
Something along the lines of the voters passing levies for X amount so that schools could modernize a building and have an art program and then Olympia going, ‘oh we need to trim the budget so we’re cutting X amount from your school budget but it’ll be okay because we see you got a levy passed that will cover the cut’… and then instead of actually paying to modernize a building or funding an art program, the levy money ended up being used to pay for basic services that the state should have been paying?January 31, 2013 at 12:31 pm #783439
I’m voting yes. Bickering over the ‘special’ election seems rather pointless. A couple million dollars isn’t really a lot of money. Funding education so that we have learned invidividuals (who will eventually pay a boat load of taxes) is more important then worrying about a few zeros.January 31, 2013 at 4:18 pm #783440
Queenie, that’s a good question. If it is indeed the case that the state short-pays Seattle schools since Seattle passed a levy then we’re getting ripped off. We send money to Olympia but it doesn’t come back.January 31, 2013 at 7:36 pm #783441
Funny how “socialism” is all good when it suits a persons own purposes but not good when it is for someone else,like healthcare. Public Schools are socialism at its finest.
I’ll vote for it but really wish the school system would go back to having maintenance/ janitor people at each school to repair as things happen like it was when I went to school.Was less expensive I would think than letting all the buildings go to heck and having to rebuild them. Schools were in much better repair then they are now.I’d like to see schools change a lot of things .I’d like to see them audited and get rid of the wasteful spending. In the meantime though I do not want to see them fail so I’ll vote yes..January 31, 2013 at 8:31 pm #783442
I’m curious to see how charter schools will play into decisions like this. I wonder if two or three years from now voters will say “hmmmm – SPS wants more money to run schools. But charter school is able to educate kids for 80% of that price! So what gives?” Note – I have no idea if charter schools will be able to educate kids for less money or not. I’m just saying we’ll have a quantifiable comparison. Right now, we know it costs $12,200 per student per year to educate children at SPS. I’ll be curious to see how charter school prices compare.
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