It is school levy election time again.
Washington's Constitution requires and the State Supreme Court has ordered our Legislature to fully fund basic education; they have not, so local taxpayers are asked to. It is an important local decision that provides the kind of educational opportunities and experiences each community expects its children to have.
A full 96 percent of school districts in our state must run levies. School districts can run levies every four years, but they cannot realistically budget that far ahead, not knowing what the state will fund, how many students will enroll annually or what new mandates or testing requirements districts must comply with.
In Pasco, the levy provides 20 percent of the maintenance and operation budget. This is different from the construction bond issue passed last year to build three new schools. Remember, levies help fund learning costs while bonds pay for buildings.
I urge voters in the nine school districts across the Mid-Columbia to be educated on their levy details and vote yes when your ballots arrive. Postmark them before Tuesday, Feb. 11. Tens of thousands of students and hundreds of employees in each of these school districts are counting on your support.
VALERIE MOFFITT, Pasco