LETTER: Realtors Urge “Yes” Vote on Bond Measure for Lake Washington Schools

Realtors are joining other supporters of a $404 million bond measure to fund various construction-related projects for schools in the Lake Washington District. In announcing the endorsement, Larry Christensen, the 2014 president of SEATTLE KingCounty Realtors, said members agreed the investment is needed to accommodate anticipated growth.

Members of SKCR had endorsed a $755 million school construction bond measure on the Feb. 11 ballot, which just failed to get the necessary 60 percent approval margin. The district subsequently scaled back the request to cover what it believes are the most critical priorities.

“Realtors know high caliber schools are important in every neighborhood,” said Christensen, who lives in the district. It’s not just families with school-age kids who are concerned about good schools, he noted.  “The quality of schools is a factor when pricing homes when they are listed for sale.”

Overcrowding, substandard layouts, and ill-equipped facilities are among consequences the district could experience if funds are not approved for projects to accommodate an expected enrollment increase of 4,000 more students in the next eight years. LWSD had the fastest growth rate among districts in King County for the two years from October 2011 to October 2013.

If this proposed $404 million bond measure passes, the increase to taxpayers will be 25 cents per thousand dollars of assessed value. The total cost of the proposed bond measure, in isolation, and irrespective of other debt service, would result in a tax rate of $.61/$1000 of assessed value, according to the district. 

David Crowell, SKCR’s director of governmental and public affairs, said one of the core values of the association’s diverse and active membership is protecting and improving the area’s quality of life. “High-quality schools are an integral part of that, and a concern in every neighborhood we serve, so Realtors are keenly interested in creating and maintaining top-notch schools.”

Cheri Brennan (for SEATTLE KingCounty Realtors)