The Evergreen school district went to the voters in February asking for a new Operations Levy to supplement the state money. It failed. But the district and school board don’t agree with a NO vote so they come back again just 2 months later. Today we bring you an opinion piece by a local resident who thinks that NO means NO.
The Evergreen School District is attempting another voter approved levy just 2 months after 57.2% of the voters rejected their last levy February 8th (by over 3,600 votes). They say it is not an increase and although the levy rate is the same as the current levy, that is disingenious thanks to the ever increasing property values (11% average increase this year) this tax will increase an estimated 24% over the next 3 years and produce an additional $25M for a school district whose enrollment declined by 4,000 students (17%) since the last levy passed in the 2018-19 school year. Approving this levy will increase inflation for each of us including renters.
Let’s look at the current levy’s operating results…
Per OSPI’s website (see Report Card for the Evergreen School District): Far less than half of ESD’s students met standards for English 39.2%, Science 45.5% and Math 20.5% (that’s 4 out of 5 failing to meet Math standards). Any operating company with these failure rates for their services would be out of business over night, yet in our state run government school system these numbers are not only tolerated but totally ignored. I have been to 10 of the last 11 ESD school board meetings and spoken out several times concerning this to No Response. (Note: in contrast the Camas School District which is next to Evergreen has on average almost double the % of students meeting standards with English 70.3%, Science 73.0% and Math 54.4%, which granted, Math is still low but at least well more than half are meeting Math standards in Camas compared to only 1 in 5 at Evergreen). Until a more concerted effort on stressing academics no more money is warranted.
These percentages should be an embarrassment to every school board member, teacher, and administrative employee. Students and Parents deserve better and we already pay for better with our state and federal taxes totaling $15K/student in this district. This is funding is in addition to that and will not help the education of our students until a fundamental change and refocus is made on academics. Throwing more money at this is just throwing good money after bad.
The parents of the Evergreen School District do not realize what a poor education this district is giving to their children as less and less class time is devoted to academics (English, Science and Math) while more and more class time is devoted to non-academic lessons such as ‘Social Emotional Learning’ and ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ which among other things has children question their gender. Also, ‘Culturally Responsive Trainings’ or ‘Practices’ per ESD, which helps pave the way for ‘Critical race Theory’ which parents of all races and nationalities around the country have denounced as ‘racist’ (judges people by the color of their skin).
The ESD school board has been working on an ‘Equity Policy’ since November which rather than giving all students equal opportunities to succeed, attempts to create equal outcomes, lowering those succeeding to match others (keeping more students from meeting standards). All students are created (and should be treated) as equals and given the same chance to succeed. Sadly, some don’t put in the time and effort necessary, so equal outcomes are not justice, but rather injustice for all.
I wrote the Opposed Statement for the February election, however, since that helped it to fail I knew the school district would not pick me to write it again for this election (believe it or not, the school district decides who gets to write the ‘Opposed’ Statement, which is ripe for collusion). I decided to ask my good friend Kevin if he would apply to write it since I feared if I was the only person applying the school district would ask their own person to write a weak feeble Opposed Statement. Although the school district could pick up to three people who applied to write it, they only picked one out of the two of us who applied. That was my friend and not me, however, my friend let me write it and he submitted it.
I was hoping to use the No Vote from February’s election over the following months to convince the school board to refocus on academics as I believe that is what the vast majority of parents decided with their vote, however, they came right back and applied for this new levy within one week (Feb. 15th) of the previous election (Feb. 8th) before the election results were even finalized. Both Eileen Quiring-O’brien (County Chair at the time) and Cathie Garber (Head of Clark County Elections) told the school district it was too soon after the election to put it on the ballot again but they did anyway. (I must admit, I like the timing though, an April 26th election is the same time we are all writing out our check for our April 30th property taxes for which Evergreen Schools gets on average $1,000/year from each of us). Have they earned it?
Please Vote ‘No’ again…
Send this school board a message to again ‘Focus on Academics’ (sadly, like most ESD Math students they still don’t get it).
Also, did ESD protect a former teacher/convicted child molester?
(See ESD Students Instagram page: ‘youfailedtoprotectus’).
Lastly, don’t forget last years fired superintendent’s 305K salary still being paid to him for the rest of this year (after all, it’s only taxpayer money).