LETTER: Vote yes on local school levies to maintain resources, opportunities for our children

We can’t predict what the state Legislature will ultimately decide about the McCleary merry-go-round.

Actual implementation of state educational funding changes may take years.

It’s impossible to know how any decision will finally impact local school levies.

But there is one certainty for Clallam County voters: Three levies in the Port Angeles, Sequim and Quillayute Valley (Forks) school districts expire Dec. 31.

Their four-year replacements are now before voters in each district.

These replacement levies — with property tax rates close to what is currently being paid — continue funds to maintain reasonably low class size and support student transportation, athletics, music programs, extracurricular activities, special education, vocational programs, technology and facility maintenance.

As spotlighted by McCleary, the state does not fully fund the local payroll for teachers and staff.

Local levies also pay for anything deemed beyond “basic education.”

Football and Math Club alike are supported by local levies — as are drama, art, music, computers, field trips and other extracurricular activities.

Approving these levies will allow funding to continue (local levies comprise 14 percent of Quillayute Valley’s school budget, 22 percent of the Port Angeles and Sequim budgets) until new McCleary formulas are understood and adopted.

I’ve visited schools countywide.

I’ve seen how local levies provide resources and opportunities for students to learn (in and out of the classroom) the skills, teamwork and good citizenship they need to grow, prosper and help build Washington state’s economy.

Please vote yes on your local school district’s levy.

John Brewer,

Port Angeles

EDITOR’S NOTE: Brewer is the former editor and publisher of the Peninsula Daily News.