Letters to the editor: Levies, hunger, politics

I will be voting “yes” on the Feb. 9 ballot for renewal of the Arlington School District Educational Programs and Operations levy.

  • Friday, January 15, 2016 8:27pm
  • News

Levy renewal should be ‘yes’

I will be voting “yes” on the Feb. 9 ballot for renewal of the Arlington School District Educational Programs and Operations levy.

The following reasons are guiding my decision:

This is a renewal of an expiring levy that provides 28 percent of the district’s general fund.

The levy funds help pay for technology, teaching materials/curriculum, academic support, transportation, Special Education and extra-curricular activities, such as athletics, arts and other educational activities.

The levy funds also support the free, full time kindergarten and the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educational programs in our schools.

The tax rate will remain the same, estimated at $3.86 per $1,000 of assessed value.

We cannot wait for our state legislature to get the full funding of Washington public schools figured out for our children.

All of the children and young people in our community deserve a quality education as they are our future adult citizens, co-workers, leaders and four of them are my grandchildren.

The Arlington community has always been a close-knit and caring place to live and to raise children.

I urge you to join me in making sure our children’s education is supported, and vote for Arlington schools Feb. 9.

Kathy Engell

Arlington

 

Schools deserve a ‘yes’ vote

Arlington Public Schools are one of the true gems of our wonderful, strong community.

As such, our schools and the children they serve deserve the continued support of the Arlington community.

On Feb. 9 we will have the opportunity to renew the expiring Educational Programs and Operations Levy, and I strongly urge all voters in Arlington to vote YES.

This levy is critical to the continued success and hard work of our schools.

It funds 28 percent of the district’s general fund, and the revenue it generates touches students directly in many ways (from curriculum and teaching materials to technology and transportation).

Specifically, in our modern world, students need experience using the technology of the modern workforce.

Levy funds allow this and thus support the employability of our graduates.

Sports and the arts play important roles in keeping our community vibrant and strong. Football games at John Larson stadium are part of the fabric of Arlington.

Concerts at the Byrnes Performing Arts Center are part of what makes Arlington so wonderful. Levy funds are critical to supporting the extracurricular lives of our students and thus the Arlington community as a whole.

Importantly, this is a renewal levy.

The old levy is expiring. The tax rate has been set to remain the same. The cost to the individual taxpayer in this community will stay the same if the levy passes. Passage of this levy will not result in a tax increase.

There has been much in the press recently about the duty of the state to fully fund K-12 education.

And while the state Supreme Court has ruled that the state must act in this regard, the state legislature has not made plans to fully fund public education. When the state assumes this responsibility, local levies may be eliminated.

This however, has not happened. Thus, the success of our schools remains in the hands of local communities, and levies remain the key to this success.

Arlington is a town that has a unique sense of community. Arlington supports its citizens, and we take care of our own.

Part of our commitment to community is our commitment to the education of our children. Their success is dependent on the support of all of us.

I urge you to vote yes to renew the Educational Programs and Operations Levy on Feb. 9.

Jenny Taylor

Arlington

 

Government could end hunger

Food bank helps, but government could end hunger

The Arlington Food Bank does inspirational work.

Thanks to generous partners like Safeway, great volunteers like Tori Anderson, and thoughtful ways to meet clients needs, the food bank saves several thousand families from hunger. (‘Arlington’s feeding younger, smaller families’, Dec. 26.)

The question is how can so many be hungry in the world’s richest country?

Fortunately, Congress just took positive action by making the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit permanent.

These two tax credits keep 16 million Americans from falling into or deeper into poverty.

Making the tax credits permanent took the voices of many citizens asking their members of Congress and senators to pass the legislation.

Congress can take other actions to end hunger in our country, but we need to speak up to remind them.

Full funding of the food stamp program would be helpful, but there needs to be more.

Living wage jobs, universal access to post high school educational opportunities, and a fairer tax system would be a good start.

So let’s join our voices and ask our government to end hunger once and for all.

Willie Dickerson,

Snohomish

 

Political leaders killing country

When we elected someone to Congress the idea is to represent the people.

I believe our elected officials have lost all sight of their purpose for being in Congress.

We did not elect them to support Obama, we elected them to support the people. We did not elect them to support a party, we elected them to support the people.

I am so tired of after writing my elected officials to receive what has all appearance of being nothing more than a party-sanctioned and sterilized response.

Our present political leaders have done more to kill this country than Lenin or Stalin ever could have accomplished.

Robert Baize

Arlington

 

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