The 70-percent vote for approving Proposition 1 blew me away. No previous school bond in the history of Tacoma had received more than 62 percent. Thank you, Tacoma.
I spent much of my first months as superintendent out in the community, and I clearly heard:
• You are deeply committed to making sure Tacoma provides educational excellence for every child, regardless of background or economic circumstance or which neighborhood they live in.
• This community is eager and ready to collaborate – to partner and find new ways to join forces and leverage Tacoma’s talents and resources around a shared vision of excellence in education for all students.
Your unprecedented support of Proposition 1 validated those truths. We in Tacoma Public Schools will reward your support:
• With a commitment to transparency. We will build on our track record of innovation to try new things together – replicate what’s working and admit when things aren’t achieving the kind of results we want so we can improve.
• In our schools, where our dedicated staffs have aligned around the academic achievement of students.
• By serving as trustworthy stewards of your investment, engaging you in neighborhood conversations around each of our major school-replacement projects.
During the weeks leading up to Tuesday’s vote, I heard campaign co-chair Kathleen Merryman say she wanted this election to be like the community wrapping its arms around all of our kids and giving them a big hug. That’s exactly what the outcome feels like.
Thank you, Tacoma.
(Santorno is the superintendent of Tacoma Public Schools.)