Who Are We?

This website is provided by a group of local citizens who believe that making an informed decision is imperative to the democratic process.  

Given that the Everett School District has opted to hold the second attempt at passing their bond in April rather than during the primary in August when it would have been legally required to provide balanced information about the bond and levy, our desire was to provide a different perspective with balanced information about the vote.  As citizens and parents, we understand what's "at stake" with regards to funding our schools. However, we also believe that integrity is required with regards to the expenditure of precious tax payer dollars.  

The District, who is the greatest beneficiary of the passing of the bond, is also the sole source of information about it.  They are not able to legally "campaign" for the passing, but have already shown they intend to walk a fine line this time and have already run afoul of the Public Disclosure Commission for doing so. The entity (and those around them who gain from the district spending your money) that stands to lose or gain the full benefit is the only one speaking to you about it.  They just want you to vote "Yes" without question. 

When the bond failed in February, the district seemed less interested in really figuring out why a bond failed for the first time in a generation (1996 was the last time one failed here) and more interested in getting it back on the ballot as quickly as possible.  They choose to believe that "misconceptions" and "low turnout" were the reasons it failed.  The truth is that they know they only need to get a few hundred votes to get it to pass and they have already looked at other districts and determined that when a failed bond is run again, that usually happens.  The message was NOT received.  It was ignored.     

Cascade High School Classroom in need of repair
The Everett School District administration and School Board has implied that they will seek the maximum amount possible in all cases from the tax-payers and that after they get a quarter of a billion this year, they will ask for well over $300 million in 2022. Superintendent Gary Cohn and others refer to Everett taxpayers "generous" because we historically approve every levy and bond they put before us.  The recent levy passed, but it also passed at one of it's lowest passing rates ever. We have some of the highest property taxes in the state because of our generosity.  We feel that the result has been a district in which there is no feeling of responsibility to reign in and justify spending. 

No one is disputing that there are some needs at some of our schools. However, those needs were there long before the district decided to build themselves a large and excessive central administration building without our consent.  There is nothing in the language of the bond resolution that stops them from doing it again.  In fact, the language states that they anticipate an additional $16.5 million in construction assistance funds from the state of Washington on top of our $259 million and that they MAY choose to use that money to upgrade their own administrative facilities.  We believe that money is meant to enhance our own bond money and student facilities should ALWAYS be the first priority.  Instead, our kids were left in rundown schools with sub-par facilities while they built something they wanted because they knew the taxpayers would be hard-pressed to say "yes" to anything more than some offices.  Instead, we have dozens of "community meeting rooms" that really weren't needed and came at a price to our schools.   

So, we ask you to thoughtfully vote on April 22.  "Vote for Kids" is what the district is telling you to do.  But, historically, it has been more of a "Vote for Administrators".  Please cast an informed vote and realize that there will be no public educational disaster if the bond doesn't pass a second time.   However, the message may finally be received that we want our kids to be the priority and we want the language on the bond changed to give us that assurance.