On Wed., Nov. 13, 2013, the Kent School Board voted on the amount of the education levy that goes to a vote in a special election on Feb. 11, 2014. During that meeting, the Kent School Board voted to ask voters for $37 million less than it could ask for. Dee Klem, a parent in the Kent School District, attended the meeting. Disappointed in the outcome of the vote, Klem sent this letter to the Kent School Board on Fri., Nov. 15. It is being reprinted with her permission.
“Dear Kent School Board Members,
I was in attendance at the School Board meeting Wednesday night and I am angry, frustrated and disappointed in your decision to ask for less than the full amount allowed for the levy. I believe the message you are sending our community is two-fold:
1) Our kids are not worth it
2) We do not believe our voters value education
We all know the state is not fully funding education. For those that were doubtful we now have court cases to document this travesty. Our community has the opportunity to begin to right that wrong. We have the opportunity to provide more funding for our kids, but your decision leaves them short-changed. I see the need almost daily in our schools. I don’t know anyone who understands the need, who sees it and deals with it that would then argue that we should ask for less. Our kids and our schools deserve to be fully funded.
I am frustrated because I do not feel much (if any) attempt was made to ask/talk to voters about how they feel. There was a lot of assuming and talk about past levies, other districts, random surveys. Which when you look at none of which really scream this will fail if you ask for the full amount. As a matter of fact, THIS community has consistently passed levies; this community has stepped up time and time again to support our kids.
The state has let us down and now it is up to you . You left over $37 million – MILLION – dollars uncollected in your decision on Wednesday. Please think about that. Think about the incredible work that could be done with those dollars. Think about the lives that could be changed. Think about the benefits to our entire community. Our kids deserve this money and our community deserves the right to vote to give it to them.
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