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TACOMA: Voters came through for schoolchildren

Letter by Carla Santorno, Tacoma on Feb. 15, 2013 at 9:38 am with No Comments »
February 15, 2013 10:34 am

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.)

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