January 3, 2017
As a long time Bainbridge resident who raised a child in the school system, I realize the necessity of continuing support of school funding through the levy process. Every time there is a levy brought before the community the task of explaining the how these levies make up the patchwork of funding sources for the District is important. I am proud of the education the BISD provides the community. I know that it runs on a very lean and mean budget and every year manages to provide one of the best educational systems in the State. So if you don’t know here is the reason why voting YES on the LEVY in February is important!
The Bainbridge Island School District consistently ranks among the top five districts in the state. Unfortunately, our state and federal funding levels put us in the bottom third of the state in per pupil funding. Thankfully, we live in a community that values education and has consistently voted to support our schools with local dollars.
Despite being held in contempt of court, our state legislature continues to struggle to find a way to adequately and equitably fund education across the state. In our district, the state covers only 78% of our costs, and local tax dollars make up the other 22% of our district’s budget. Through the Educational Program and Operations (EP&O) Levy, our local dollars pay for things like remedial reading and math programs, transportation, utilities, and teacher salaries. In addition, the Technology Levy pays for computers and software for our children to learn the skills that colleges and employers expect them to have upon graduation. Until the state finds a funding solution, we will continue to need local dollars to educate our children.
I hope you’ll join me in voting “Yes” to support the renewal of both the EP&O Levy and the Technology Levy on the upcoming February ballot.
Mary McCurdy, Parent of BISD Graduate
Former Board Member of the Bainbridge Schools Foundation