It is often stated that the success of our nation rides on future generations. When I moved to Maple Valley I learned a lot about the Tahoma School District. What I learned has made me a true believer in what Superintendent Mike Maryanski and the entire Tahoma School District team have created. What they have done is to create a first class education culture that people from around the country come to study in an attempt to replicate in their own districts. This is why the Greater Maple Valley-Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce has joined many others in endorsing the Tahoma School District levies.
The reality of the current situation is that this nationally recognized program is in jeopardy because of budget constraints. On Feb. 9 the residents of the Tahoma School District will be asked to vote to continue the educational programs and operations levy and the technology levy. Yes, this is a vote to continue current levies.
This is a critical time as education funding is on the endangered species list on the state level. State funding was cut last year causing our district to make very hard decisions without cutting into the classroom environment. Our state is currently facing a $2.8 billion shortfall and those in the know believe education will again take a hit. One thing we can do is to ensure that current financing sources we have control of are secured.
Under our state constitution, education is listed as the paramount duty of the state and thus should be fully funded by the state, but it’s not. It is an issue we all need to work on with the Legislature to change. As many of you know, I believe that we already pay too much in taxes, but we cannot punish our district and our kids because of the inaction of the Legislature. Despite my beliefs about taxes, we need to continue to impose taxes on ourselves for the greater good of our kids and schools.
We often talk about deliverables or bang for our buck in all aspects of our lives and seldom think it actually occurs at a government level. The Tahoma School District is recognized as a leader in outcomes and deliverables and is ranked among the best schools and districts state-wide. They do this with fewer resources than those districts with which they share top ranking.
I believe we pay too much in taxes, I believe that the state should fully fund education and I also believe until we change the system we need to continue to support our kids, our district and future generations. You can visit the Voice of Tahoma Education Web site (www.tahomavote.org), the district site www.tahomasd.us or call the district at 425-413-3409 for more information.
The Greater Maple Valley/Black Diamond Chamber of Commerce