LETTER | Correcting The Record On Overcrowded Schools

Dear Editor:

While growth is in fact occurring in many parts of the district, Ms. Wilkins conclusion that “The serious overcrowding at Evergreen Middle School is the result of excessive growth INSIDE Redmond and Sammamish” is inaccurate. Of the over 1000 students who currently attend Evergreen Middle School, Wilkins identifies 475 of them come from Redmond Ridge. The remaining students come from the attendance areas of Wilder, Alcott and Dickinson elementary schools all which are located in rural King County not INSIDE the City of Redmond or Sammamish.  Ms. Wilkins belief that 1000 students from Redmond and Sammamish will be moved to Evergreen is completely erroneous.

As Ms. Wilkins points out, growth is occurring in Kirkland. In fact, that is why the Long-Term Facilities Planning Task Force included in their recommendations expanding Juanita High School and Kirk Elementary. Their recommendations also included a new elementary school in Kirkland, an addition at Lake Washington High School and a new choice high school to serve more students in that area. All of these projects are part of the district long-term funding plan to finance the task force recommendations without increasing the tax rate.

As for Ms. Wilkins contention about school taxes, she has her facts wrong. Wilkins analysis fails to accurately reflect the impact of new properties or the fact that if assessed values go up more than the districts conservative projections, the tax rate will actually be less than the 2015 rate. That is because the district can only collect the amount that voters approve, which means additional increases in assessed values will actually lower the tax rate.

For the real facts about the bond measure go to www.lwsd.org.

Jackie Pendergrass