As decades-long community members in South King County, and volunteers with Citizens for Kent Schools, we are writing to ask you to vote Yes on the Kent School Bond to Reduce Overcrowding. You’ve already received your ballot and you’ll need to be return it by the Nov. 8 deadline.
You may be asking why do we need a bond? There are two things to remember about this bond – it will significantly reduce overcrowding in our schools by building two new elementary schools, and it will not increase your current tax rates.
State and federal funding do not cover costs associated with renovation or replacement of school facilities. Significant changes in state-mandated student class size requirements necessitate additional classroom space. This bond funds two new elementary schools, 20 new classrooms across the District, and nine multipurpose rooms reducing overcrowding in classrooms and school buildings. It improves safety by replacing fire alarm systems at nine buildings and renovating outdoor athletic facilities at ten schools – without raising overall school taxes.
This bond is truly a community-driven measure. In 2012, the District convened a group of 46 citizens and employees to represent the various regions and schools located within KSD. The Citizens’ Bond Review Committee (CBRC) met regularly over 18 months reviewing and prioritizing 262 projects submitted by schools and the KSD Maintenance Department. In 2015, the group reconvened to review and approve an updated list and then recommended 76 projects as top priorities. In late 2015 and early 2016, the school board considered five different versions of possible bond projects taken from the updated CBRC recommendations. They settled on the most comprehensive list of projects that could be accomplished without raising overall your tax rates.
We know that a strong school system and infrastructure benefits the children, neighborhoods and economic vitality of our entire community. We humbly ask you to vote YES on Nov. 8.
Marcie Maxwell, Renton, and Maya Vengadasalam, Kent