Support schools in all 3 communities

  • Wednesday, January 29, 2020 2:26pm
  • Opinion

Excuses, excuses, excuses

Ever wonder why parents send their kids to nearby Lakewood, Arlington and Lake Stevens schools instead of Marysville?

Better schools, right? But why are they better? It is because their communities have been supporting them the past 30 years, unlike residents of Marysville.

Marysville residents have saved tens of thousands of dollars in taxes those years because they haven’t continued to pay taxes to replace schools the way other communities have. For example, Arlington has been trying to replace Post Middle School for a few years now. It’s trying again Feb. 11. That school is 38-years-old.

Do you know how many of Marysville’s schools are that age or older? Ten, including Liberty (1951), Cascade (1955), Shoultes (1957), Totem and Tulalip (1958), Marysville Middle (1960), Sunnyside (1964), Pinewood (1968), Marysville-Pilchuck (1970) and Marshall (1981).

We’re hearing excuses, not reasons, why people don’t support schools. The administration lied to us 30 years ago. They didn’t handle the shooting well (what is the right way to handle a shooting?). They messed up with Getchell. The boundaries aren’t right. Taxes are too high (which is not true compared with surrounding cities.)

Those are all things to take up with the school board and superintendent because those are good reasons to be upset with the district. But they are just excuses when it comes to replacing schools, which is a community’s responsibility.

We keep hearing schools can do better. Of course they can. But the community can, too.

Support Arlington measures

Arlington will be getting a lot of bang for the buck if the community passes all three school measures Feb. 11.

In 2018, taxpayers paid over $1,404 for schools on a $300,000 home, but as previous measures were paid off and the state kicked in more money the tax was cut back to $807 the past two years.

If all three measures pass this time around, thanks to growth meaning more taxpayers are chipping in, the community will see the total tax for schools only reach $1,047 from 2021-24 and then just $798 after that.

The bond, Proposition 3, to replace Post Middle School is just 64 cents per $1,000 valuation from 2021-24, jumping to 94 cents after that.

Proposition 1 renews the Educational and Operations Levy. That was $3.31 per $1,000 in 2018, but dropped to $1.50 once the state intervened after the McCleary decision. It would go up just 20 cents per $1,000 with the newest levy.

And finally, Proposition 2, the Capital Levy, is for just four years, costing $1.15 per $1,000 before being paid off.

So, as recently as 2018 Arlington residents were paying $4.93 per $1,000 valuation. Currently it’s at $2.69, but it would only jump to $3.49 from 2021-24 and $2.66 beyond that.

In other words, even if all three measures pass, Arlington taxpayers still would be paying less than they did in 2018 and much less than other school districts in our area. Sounds like a good deal. Voters should take advantage of it because the longer they wait the more expensive it will get to fix schools.

Lakewood urged to pass levies

The Lakewood School District wants to pass levies Feb. 11, too.

Two are replacement levies of ones passed previously for general programs and operations, and technology and capital improvements. Both levies expire at the end of 2020.

Voters also are being asked to approve an increase in a levy they already passed in 2016. The reason for the increase is state funding has not been enough to keep up with what local taxpayers were providing previously.

We urge the community to vote for each of these levies.

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Honestly, our taxes in Marysville really are lower than many of our neighbors