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February 22, 2019

1/23/2019 12:54:00 PM
La Conner school levy: The superintendent's summary

By Dr. Whitney Meissner
The upcoming Feb. 12 levy election is replacing the two-year levy voters approved in 2017; this is not a new tax. Additionally, the rate is lower than the expiring levy by about $1 per thousand. On behalf of the La Conner School District Board of Directors, we thank you, our community, for the support you provide in so very many ways.
Each item on the list of Educational Programs and Operations Levy is only partially funded by levy funds. Furthermore, each item directly supports learning, often for some of our most vulnerable populations:
Children experiencing homelessness.
Children with disabilities.
Children who are hungry.
As a district, we are committed to supporting students having access to music, art, drama, clubs, athletics and other activities that provide our youth opportunities to follow their hearts and personal interests, as well as to build strong, positive connections with adults and peers. Research is clear: when kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, they are more likely be successful in the classroom as well.
We also want to express our deep gratitude to the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community who consistently provides over $1.6 million per year in direct support to our school district. There are numerous other ways they partner with us, but the specifics of the $1.6 million include:
$500,000 in unrestricted funds
$100,000 toward the high school gym roof replacement (year two of five)
$60,000 toward the Braves Club
$700,000 in personnel costs to employ 13 paraprofessionals who work in the schools
$320,000 in preschool funding
When asked recently, “I live on tribal trust land. How do I feel good about voting in this election?”, I responded, “Our district is asking the voters for $870,000. The tribe contributes nearly twice that, $1.6 million. I think you can be confident your tax dollars are directly benefitting the school district and children.”
I am very proud to have a daughter who is a member of the La Conner High School Class of 2019. She has attended three high schools and recently shared that she wishes we had come to La Conner sooner. All we want for the children in our schools is to be connected, to learn and to be happy. I can tell you first hand this is one of the miracles that happens every day in our schools.
Whitney Meissner started as La Conner school district superintendent July 1, 2017.

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