Invest in kids by voting “yes” for schools

Invest in kids by voting “yes” for schools

My name is Michelle Reed, and I am privileged to be an educator in the Aberdeen School District and the Aberdeen Education Association’s president. Each and every day I see our community’s tax dollars put to great use educating our children in meaningful and inventive ways. That is why on behalf of the AEA and our children, I ask you to vote “Yes” for the local levy and bond measure on the February ballot.

While the McCleary decision did much to reform school funding, it simply did not fix all of the problems. By voting “Yes” for our local levy our district will be able to continue programs that the state considers to be enhancements. Notably, the levy will pay for music, curriculum, much-needed technology and our sports programs. To our children, these are not enhancements, but rather they are a fundamental part of basic education. By extending the current levy, voters will have the assurance of their tax rates for the next four years. Maintaining the current rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation will allow our community to continue providing our students with the excellent education they deserve.

Also on the ballot will be a bond for the new Stevens Elementary, which dates back to 1951. A new school is desperately needed to educate our students while partnering with the community to provide a safe and secure environment for both. Currently, Stevens has not seen a significant modernization since the 1970s. The bonds for the high school will be paid off in 2024 and the Stevens bond is structured so that during the overlapping years, interest-only payments will be made on the bond. This will greatly limit the tax increase on our voters. The combined tax rate for the bonds, local levy, and school tax is equal to the pre-McCleary 2017 rate of $6.78 per $1,000 of assessed value. After 2025, voters will see the rate decrease to $5.57 per $1,000 of assessed value. That equals out to a new school and levy for the same 2017 tax rates.

Please join me in voting “Yes” for the Aberdeen School District Levy and Bonds. Your investment in our children is an investment in our future.

Michelle Reed