Vote ‘yes’ to keep quality schools in Bellevue | Editorial

An important ballot will arrive in Bellevue-area mailboxes beginning today. The Bellevue School District is seeking approval of two levies and a bond measure to improve the schools.

All three measures deserve a strong “yes” vote.

Bellevue schools rank in the top 5 percent of public schools nationally. Several magazines put several of the schools among the top 100 in the country.

Such success doesn’t happen on its own. It’s a result of dedicated teachers and district administrators backed by the strong support of local taxpayers.

Yes, the state provides some of the money for Bellevue schools, but not nearly enough. In fact, 27 percent of the district’s day-to-day operating funds come from local support. Local money also is needed to provide technology in the classrooms and rebuild out-of-date schools.

Proposition No. 1 is a levy that will let the district raise $58 million to $68 million from 2015 to 2018 to pay teachers; provide art and music in elementary schools; support gifted and special education programs; and continue the seven-period day that lets students in middle and high school take the extra classes they’ll need to succeed.

Proposition No. 2, another levy, will replace aging technology in the classroom and repair and improve existing school buildings. It would raise $104 million over five years.

Proposition No. 3 is a bond issue that would raise $450 million over 20 years to not only rebuild five schools to the same standards as others in the district, but also build two new elementary schools to meet a growing school population.

All three are critically important.

In 2013, the owner of a home assessed at $448,000 paid $1,465 in local school taxes. If all three propositions are approved, the yearly cost only would rise by an average of $66 a year ­— just $5.50 a month.

The school district has been a good steward of the money Bellevue-area voters have given it. The Bellevue Reporter recommends a “yes” vote on all three measures.


– Craig Groshart, Bellevue Reporter

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