Burlington voters will soon be presented with two important school propositions. Proposition 1 is a two-year programs-and-operations levy. This is replacement levy — not a new tax — and it will fund basic classroom and operational needs, as well as staff salaries that are not fully funded by the state.
The McCleary decision provides more money to schools, but this support does not eliminate the need for local levies. And local levies must be renewed by voters or this vital funding will be lost.
Proposition 2 is a capital facilities bond that will help ease overcrowding, increase middle school opportunities and address safety issues in our schools.
Our oldest grade school, West View Elementary, is basically unchanged since I started first grade there in 1959. This bond will provide much-needed changes at this aging building, providing a dedicated cafeteria/food services space and replacing the outdated 1950s gym.
Our elementary schools were built for half-day kindergarten, but twice the classroom space is needed for the current full-day kindergarten programs. In addition, our current system spreads seventh- and eighth-graders out over four grade schools, with limited options for electives compared to students in other districts in the valley.
This bond will fund the construction of a multistory middle school that will offer our students a much wider variety of electives plus career and technical education classes. Moving seventh- and eighth-graders to a new middle school will also ease overcrowding at our grade schools.
Proposition 1 is a Levy for Learning; Proposition 2 is a Bond for Building. Good schools are an important asset for our community, and our children are our most important asset for our future. Please vote yes on both propositions — for our community and for our kids.