Letter | What the LWSD Levy is really about

To the editor:

As members of the Lake Washington School District Board of Directors, we urge you to vote yes for the district’s levy measure. We are facing a very real space crisis. It’s just not possible to fit in hundreds more students into the system each year without some cost. With 600 more students this year and 450 more expected each year for at least the next five, we will run out of space by the fall of 2012.

This measure is not about the planned change in grade configuration to a four-year high school system. That change is being made for academic reasons. It also helps us handle the space problem by moving sixth grade out of our already crowded elementary schools, schools that would be in a crisis without a change that brings us in line with most other school districts in the state and nation.

It is not about the school building modernization program, which was approved twice by voters, first in 1998 and then in 2006. That program ensures that our school district has buildings that are suited to the current educational program through a complete update every 30-40 years.

What this measure is about is adding classroom space at the high school level where we will desperately need it very soon. It is about making sure that Redmond and Eastlake High Schools have enough space for the students who enter their doors. An additional small secondary school will reduce those numbers so that those two schools don’t become too large. Because of the great interest locally and nationally in science, technology, engineering and math education, we will focus the curriculum on those subjects. This new school will be open to students from all over the district.

The Lake Washington School District works hard to provide an excellent education for our students, but we need your support. Please Vote yes for our students and mail your ballot by February 8.  (The voter’s pamphlet is included in your ballot on the back of the instruction sheet.)

Sincerely,

Jackie Pendergrass, Director, District 1, Board President

Nancy Bernard, Director, District 3