I am running for the school board as an advocate for the taxpayer and fiscal responsibility. A school district with stable or declining enrollment but a budget increasing at over twice the rate of inflation over the past decade is not sustainable. We should be able to make the “ample provision for education” required by our state constitution in a responsible, sustainable manner without constantly requesting more money from the taxpayers.
Just because the legislature has raised the local school levy “cap” doesn’t mean that we have to use all the levy dollars available. With all the demands on the limited funds of the taxpayers, we need to ensure that the schools—like all government agencies—are operating as efficiently as possible while meeting constitutional requirements.
We need to stick to the principle in the McCleary decision and insist that teacher wages are provided in an equitable manner by the state and not go back to relying on local property tax levies to cover basic instructional costs; otherwise we will be back in court for McCleary 2.0 in another decade or two.
I am not a professional educator, but I do have business experience and know how to balance a budget. I’ve worked on the boards of non-profit associations where we deliver the services required within the allotted budget. I do not have children in the Coupeville school district and will maintain an independent stance in my work on the school board.