Letters to the Editor

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SCHOOLS: Don’t fail our kids, voters

Letter by Rick Oldenburg, Gig Harbor on Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:37 am with 10 Comments »
January 24, 2012 1:23 pm

Our education system, including Peninsula schools, is living with the pain of belts so tight they may soon cut off circulation.

State cuts to education, rising fixed costs and the languishing economy have added to the woes of our school district. In the last four years, the Peninsula superintendent and school board have cut more than $14 million; teachers, staff and administrators have taken pay cuts for this year and next.

Now it is our turn. Education is the greatest gift each of us received from our society, and it is up to us to provide the same for our children and those of our citizenry.

It really isn’t a choice, you know. We either educate our children now or we end up paying a lot more later for having failed our kids in their early years.

This levy is simply a replacement for the current one. If passed, the district can keep schools open with classes at a reasonable size. If it fails, the district will take an even bigger $18 million hit, and instead of belt-tightening, it will be a tourniquet for our educators.

If we don’t do everything we can to educate today’s young people, then we live with the results – and have no one to blame but ourselves.

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. truthbusterguy says:

    “This levy is simply a replacement for the current one”, not true. Look at the voter pamplet, it’s a huge tax increase. You ae a terrible car salesman.

    Olympia wants:
    higher sales tax
    gas tax increase
    income tax, yes again
    oil tax that we will pay for
    higher tolls
    pay for new ferries
    higher fees
    higher fares
    higher car tabs
    pay to use parks
    fees on everything we do

    County wants:
    higher surface H2o fees
    flood water fees
    just raised the sale tax
    higher lic. tabs to pay for buses
    higher fees
    higher entrance fees for parks

    schools wants:
    more $$$$$ for schools

    Sorry Rick, Everything going up but my paycheck. I was tapped out before the list of state taxes were paid. If I can vote no and cut $500 on my property taxes I will. Everything working fine at my kids school and the ex says schools are just fine for now. I haven’t found anyone yet voting yes. We are all broke and living payday to payday. Sorry try back in 2014. For now, thighten your belt like the rest of us. Teachers are doing fine as we suffer, please help the hurting out there, vote NO.

  2. itwasntmethistime says:

    People are just going to have to shoulder more of the responsibility of their kids’ education. The government doesn’t have the money and many taxpayers don’t have the money. All of us with kids are going to have to double our own efforts in our homes and ease the burden on the schools. If I can save every one of my neighbors $500 per year by helping to teach my own kid I’ll gladly do it.

    If saving $500 per year won’t make a difference in your house please consider donating the money to your local school.

  3. GHTaxPayer says:

    The Democrats in Olympia have really screwed over our kids future and our present with their runaway spending on everything BUT education. They would rather fund trains to nowhere and entitlements for illegal immigrants than provide adequate funding for our kids.

    Superintendent of School Terry Bouck refuses to reform the cadillac pensions and benefits to retirees, refuses to put back the half-days and full days stolen from our school year. Instead he seeks to reach into our pockets and RAISE the levy tax by 61% over the last time.

    I have two children in the Gig Harbor PSD. And I’m voting NO on this levy until Terry Bouck adds a whole bunch of days back to the school year and eliminates “Late Start (teacher goof-off) Wednesday”. Please join me in demanding more time at school for our children. Call 530 – 1600 and tell Terry Bouck to put our children FIRST and give them more time with the great teachers of the PSD 401.

  4. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    Don’t you love all the levy sponsors out there, most on a school payroll, that use the same terms. “it’s for the kids”, “the doors will close”, “the lights will be turned off”, “oh no class size”, “no more free lunches for all the hungry kids”. Your guilt trips ain’t going to work anymore. Were broke!!!

    Your sky is falling scare tatics don’t work any longer. School tax increases are out of control and they do nothing to control cost. They want more and more, well we are tapped out.

    We vote for I-1053, we vote down tax increases, say no to income tax and now school district all over the county have their hat in hand wanting more that I don’t have. Well I am taking the advice of the Pierce County Tax Assessor when I asked why my property taxes had not gome down after losing 40% of my home value. He said, ” well stop approving all the special levies and your taxes will go down”. Well guess what my plan is???? I will be voting a resounding NO!!!

    But I won’t hold my breath, they will just run it again and again and again. And I will keep voting no, no, and heck NO!!!!

  5. ReadNLearn says:

    The only one failing the kids is the Washington Education Association…no matter how much money we throw at them, the teachers simply demand more and produce few results.

  6. New tax; foreigners arriving & Seatac have them pay a new or higher port tax! Use the funds for schools, transportation etc…..

  7. commoncents says:

    re: donating money to your local schools…

    I already do that. As the spouse of a teacher, I already spend far more than $500 on the students at my spouse’s school. I buy paper, supplies, books, snacks, clothing, educational materials etc. I also belong to the PTA at her school and at my son’s school where we always contribute to every fundraiser. I do that AND vote yes on the local levies and plan to continue to do so because I know that educating our children is paramount to this countries continued success. I also know that a quality school increases the value of my home.

    Note: this doesn’t mean that I don’t think there isn’t fat to trim at schools or that some fiscal decisions being made aren’t silly and shouldn’t be critiqued.

  8. GHTaxPayer says:

    Commcents: You and your spouse need to stop voting for Democrats. Larry Seaquist (D) ran on a platform of helping school funding, and the very first bill he sponsored since re-election in 2010 had CUTS in school funding. The Dems are liars and thieves. Even the WA State Supreme court agrees with my position and ordered Olympia to start adequately funding our schools.

  9. itwasntmethistime says:

    Who wants to bet that if we voters tripled our levy dollars to get more money to the schools the legislature would simply cut state funding that same amount?

  10. weneedhope says:

    GHTaxPayer: why would you say PSD’s “great” teachers are “goofing off” on late-start Wednesdays? These contradictory statements don’t make sense to me. Have you witnessed this? Schools keep a record of what goes on during these collaboration times and some schools (if not all) even have measurable evidence of the work the teachers are doing. In fact, all of the teachers I know say that collaboration Wednesdays create much MORE work for them (more assessments, etc). I’m personally not a fan of late-start Wednesdays either, but I certainly don’t believe PSD’s teachers are goofing off.

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