LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Local levy funding is important

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For decade's voters in Walla Walla have supported the Walla Walla Public Schools by voting "yes" on the district's Educational Programs and Operations Levy.

I am strongly encouraging voters to continue this tradition and legacy by voting "yes" on Feb. 14.

The local levy makes up approximately 20 percent of the district's budget and touches every student, every day. With state funding having been cut and with the potential for more, our local funding becomes even more important. This proposed levy gives us stable local funding for four years.

Also, the levy amount and rates remain stable. While the district had the legal authority to raise the levy amount, the School Board looked at the state of the economy and decided it was best for taxpayers and the district to keep rates stable.

Our local levy pays for:

One in three classified staff (outside of food service workers and bus drivers).

Additional secondary school courses - state pays for five classes, the levy pays for the rest.

Elementary music and physical education specialists.

All-day kindergarten at Prospect Point, Edison, Berney and Sharpstein (state funds pay for all-day kindergarten at Green Park and Blue Ridge).

Co-curricular activities like music, debate, drama, FFA and clubs.

Extra-curricular activities like athletics

And, many other items not supported by the state and federal government.

Lastly, over 83 percent of the district's budget is spent on people. Overwhelmingly, those employees live in our Valley and spend their paychecks here. Local levy dollars are a strong driver in our local economy.

Walla Walla is a great place to live, work and raise a family. The support of local voters has helped to make it a great place. I ask that you continue that support with a "yes" vote.

Ballots are mailed Jan. 27 and must be returned by Feb. 4.

Superintendent Mick Miller

Walla Walla Public Schools

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