Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

SCHOOLS: Support Peninsula school levy

Letter by Colleen Speer, Vaughn on Jan. 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm with 11 Comments »
January 13, 2012 11:07 am

As executive director for Communities In Schools of Peninsula (CISP), I am writing to strongly support Peninsula School District’s 2012 replacement levy.

CISP is a local nonprofit organization that is separate from PSD, yet provides free programs and services to the students and families of PSD. Because the state does not fully fund education, I believe that it is the responsibility of the community and local organizations to provide the necessary dollars needed to keep our schools running at the standards our local children deserve.

Replacement levy funds will pay for a variety of critical services and staffing needs, one of which is extended day activities at our local schools. Although CISP has successfully been partnering with the school district to offer reading and math after-school programs one day a week at 10 school sites, much more is needed to help our children succeed in school and in life.

The Pensinsula School District has worked collaboratively with other community-based organizations for the benefit of our local youth and they has done a tremendous job with its financial resources and quality staff.

I support the replacement levy not only because of the great job the district is doing already, but also because of the way a great school system helps to shape and form a community. Adults need to care about the future leadership and work force of Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula. By voting yes we will protect our community assets.


Colleen Speer
Executive Director
Communities In Schools of Peninsula

Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. I would suggest that those that can just barely get by on what their cost of living has brought them to,do not embrace more and continued taxes from the,(It’s for the Children Crowd!)Those that feel the schools need more dollars from the overtaxed public, can feel free to send all of their uncomitted dollars to the School fund, but after figuring out all the raises that are put on my income for all services to maintain a bare existence,I will have to pass on more money from me for the Schools.I have found the increases in my living costs are higher than in any increases in my available income.Not many jobs are available for my age bracket so any income from employment doesn’t seem available.I feel there are many folks that are in a similar situation as myself but are too proud to admit it.

  2. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Are you kidding asking us to vote yes? obama said you don’t raise taxes in a recession and this levy is not a continuing levy, ITS A TAX INCREASE!!!!

    You said it pays for services and staffing. 87% goes to more new staff and unsustainable benefit packages.

    The courts have told the states to fund K-12. Levies only take pressure off Olympia to fund schools instead of social programs for illegals. Don’t take the pressure off our legislature, keep the funding problem where it should be, in their laps. Don’t forget Kilmer and Seaquist voted for the cuts to K-12 that forced this levy on us. If they stop the wasteful state spending there would be a lot of money for schools.

    The state wants and Income tax, the governor wants a sales tax, the county is increasing the sales tax to buy police radios, they want a $.10 gas tax, the governor wants to tax oil which we will pay for, fees to fund WSDOT will go up and don’t forget tolls to cross the bridge are going up. And you want me to vote for an increase in my property taxes. Give me a break.

    This levy ratecould have stayed the same but the greedy school district wants to raise my property tax. Why can’t they for once live within their means like all of us? The school district won’t be happy until they tax us out of our home.

    VOTE NO!!! And if you don’t vote you are just asking for a tax increase.

  3. jandkgibbs says:

    I agree we have great schools in GH. But I have some concerns with the levy that cause me to worry.

    1. A lot of confusion about the recent court ruling raising questions in the mind of voters. The legislature is not helping here by providing clarity to voters. And they talk about raising taxes, fees, fares and tolls daily, which concerns many on a fixed income and families struggling at this time.
    2. The levy will be voted on while the legislature is in session. Many legislative leaders are talking about a different way to fund schools and many think the levy and property tax system will change and lower the levy cap.
    3. Approval of the levy is in question because voters are not approving recent tax increases and the last bond measure didn’t get enough votes to be approved. Even Seattle voted against the recent license tab increase. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the income tax and the soda tax. I feel the public has lost the trust for how government spend our tax dollars.
    4. We are still in a recession, property values are down (28% of homes underwater), foreclosures are up (Pierce County #2 in state) and everyone is tightening their belts. I think people will ask why the district wants to raise taxes at this time. I think they made a bad decision.
    5. The question that CISP should ask is “what is the district’s plan to if the levy does not pass. I was surprised to learn they don’t have a plan and that concerned me enough to talk to the school board about needing a contingency or a back up plan.

    I think they should have run the levy at the existing rate and not raised taxes at this time. A tax increase makes it very hard for many to support the levy.

  4. GHTaxPayer says:

    Since Terry Bouck took over as superintendent he has systematically worked with the teachers union to reduce the number of days our children are in school. He implemented a horrific “Late Start Wednesday” which takes away prime learning hours and has added an endless amount of half days, and Presidents Day has morphed into Presidents Week!
    And he has the gall to make speeches saying that he’s doing everything for the kids. Yeah right !! The PSD 401 teachers now get almost 4 months vacation time per year !!
    Staff salaries make up 87% of the budget, yet he tells us parents that any cuts will come from band, sports, tech and kindergarten – although these only make up a tiny fraction of the budget!
    He tells us that teachers took a 1.9% pay cut last year – but he doesn’t tell you that he also cut another 2 days from the school year!
    THE ONLY WAY I SUPPORT THIS LEVY IS IF TERRY BOUCK ELIMINATES “Late Start Wednesday” and all of the half days, and really starts putting the education of our children ahead of the Teachers Union.

  5. BigSwingingRichard says:


    The changes you suggest will more likely occur if the levy fails.

    Losing a levy will force school districts to prioritize spending and focus on the basic education of kids and not the compensation and working environments of the employees.

    Schools may begin the glacial change towards focusing on the education of kids and away from the employment of adults when a levy fails.

    It is the State’s responsibility to fund basic education, not local taxpayers via school levies.

  6. GHTaxPayer says:

    The Dems in Olympia refuse to adequately fund our schools. They’d rather spend endless Billions on trains to nowhere and free healthcare to illegal immigrants.

    The bottom line is that our schools desperately need the funding from this levy. The schools have made some serious cuts and are near the bone. I will be voting yes on the levy and hope everyone else will also.

    I just wish Terry Bouck and the School Board would stand up to the Teachers Union and demand more time in school for our kids.

    Terry Bouck gets belligerent and red-faced whenever a parent questions him, but it appears he rolls over and plays dead for the Unions.

  7. NWflyfisher says:

    Year after year we hear the same “the schools are underfunded” argument. With very few exceptions, the taxpayers give in. Enough is enough. The emotional “for the children” argument has been worn out.

    The time has come for school administrators to get serious and find ways to operate the schools more efficiently and cost effectively with what they have.

    Vote NO on the Peninsula school levy.

  8. alindasue says:

    I’m going to repeat what I said in another similar thread. This is an issue for the people who actually live in the Peninsula school district.

    sincere, you stated in the other thread that you live in the district. GHTaxPayer… can I assume that “GH” stands for “Gig Harbor”?

    taxedenoughintacoma, unless your moniker is incorrect, the PENINSULA school district is not going to tax you out of your home.

    Teacher strikes in Tacoma, lawsuits against administrators in Puyallup, or any number of other school district issues you may have a gripe about have nothing to do with school levies in the Peninsula school district. Please do not project your gripes about YOUR local school districts and/or property tax issues into THEIR debate.

  9. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    alindasue, this is not just a Gig Harbor issue

    No matter where you live the issue of school funding is a major concern. How can you say this is just a Gig Harbor issue? The letter was written from a guy in another state! Failing and inefficient schools is a national issue and changes will need to start locally. The state is failing an entire generation of students and money is not the problem.

    There is not a government school in the state where we are getting bang for our buck and throwing more money down the toilet is not the answer. Schools must reform and they will never start as long as we keep funding the status quo.

    Let me change the argument here. It is now the duty of concerned citizens to VOTE NO on all school levies and do so “for the sake of the children’s futures”. Until we break the hold the teachers unions have on families and force school boards to make changes the quality and standards in schools will continue the downward trend.

    No mater where you live we are being taxed to death and the state is pouring on more taxes, fees and toll hikes. All counties must send a signal to government that “WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH”. They can do so by a NO VOTE.

  10. By cutting off all funding, will the taxers get the message that the taxpayers are unwilling to continue to pour their taxes into programs that drain their wallets and put themselves into more debt with no visible results?Taxedtoomuchintacoma has the right idea.

  11. alindasue says:


    Please go to the other thread on this topic where you posted the exact same post. I answered you there.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0