West Seattle, Washington
Yard signs have finally popped up, but, especially if you don’t have a kid in Seattle Public Schools, you still might not be entirely aware there’s an election on Tuesday. Yes, there is — almost $900 million dollars worth. Here’s our 2 cents, if you haven’t already voted by mail, or haven’t really thought much about which way to go: Seattle School District Proposition 1 could be considered discretionary; it spends hundreds of millions on construction projects (including a new Denny Middle/Sealth HS campus here in WS) that some say don’t represent the most urgent needs for this kind of $. However, Seattle School District Proposition 2 is NOT discretionary. A “yes” vote on Prop 2 renews a levy (in other words, no change in tax rate) that provides a quarter of the district’s budget. If you vote no on Prop 2, students WILL be hurt. And unlike some of the people in this article, many local families don’t have the $ to just say “oh well, it’s off to private school then” (and trust us, even if they do, some private schools are startlingly overrated). No matter what you decide to do regarding school Prop 1, please vote yes Tuesday on school Prop 2.
There’s a lot at stake for West Seattle in the school vote coming up five weeks from today. The measures are mentioned as part of this “year ahead for Seattle Public Schools” story in today’s Times. To find specifics, you have to scavenge through the SPS site; a no-frills doc outlines the half-billion dollar bond measure that we’ll be voting on, a large chunk of which would go toward combining the Denny Middle School & Chief Sealth HS campuses on this side of WS (new turf for the Denny/Sealth field is in the bond plan too). But when you go vote, keep in mind the bond measure is separate from the $400 million levy the district needs just to keep running. And neither will pass, no matter how many “yes” votes, if not enough voters (at least 40% of the # who voted last November) show up.