Opinion

LETTERS

Lend a hand at May 7

fund-raising luncheon

Our great Northshore schools are under extreme pressure. Pressure to educate our children to our higher standards. Pressure to meet and exceed WASL (Washington Assessment of Student Learning) scores. Pressure to attract and retain the highest quality staff — all within the constraints of an inadequate state funding system.

As a state, Washington is one of the worst at funding K-12 education. And with so many strings attached, the way the money is distributed to our district is patently unfair and only serves to further in debt our district, not help it. Then, we further allow our state to take our precious tax money and spend the majority of it in other communities. While the intent to equalize educational opportunities across the state is laudable, it keeps Northshore from raising the money this community could provide to sustain the quality of education that is demanded.

While we all can feel helpless to directing change, I do know we Northshore parents have the power to finance and manage our schools to a better place. And we must; our schools are the foundation of the neighborhoods in which we live.

Several years ago, I attended a meeting held in a friend’s home. Dr. Karen Forys was there and she spoke passionately about the state budget and how it was falling behind in K-12 education funding. That was my introduction to a group of parents and community volunteers called the Northshore Public Education Foundation (NPEF). Originally founded to support inspirational and motivation programs in our school district, NPEF has stepped up to fund programs in our district that otherwise would vanish.

As most of you do, I follow this newspaper’s articles on the school district and I do read the passionate letters to the editor. Clearly, this community cares about the quality of education here. We expect better. I call on you now to step up and support your children. I call on you now to step up and support your community’s children. The Northshore Public Education Foundation is your foundation to financing our children’s bright future. We finance programs that reach out to every Northshore student. We have purchased science kits for all the elementary schools. We have funded reading programs. We are buying tools for elementary kids to learn math and the curriculum for the AP (advanced placement) courses. And of course we continue to fund specific classroom grants.

This year, our fund-raising luncheon is May 7. Held at the Lynnwood Convention Center, the Light a Fire for Learning Luncheon will be an emotional and inspiration event that really shows how this community can make a difference. I call on each of you to attend, to become involved and to become part of the solution to this funding crisis. If you can’t attend this year, go to www.npefoundation.org and click on the Donate Now button. Call our office to find our more at (425) 408-7680 or e-mail me at president@npefoundation.org.

Gary Bamesberger

Northshore Public Education Foundation

Thanks for mentoring

our local teenagers

On March 29, our family enjoyed a spaghetti dinner benefit sponsored by the

Northshore Youth Council as a fund-raiser for the Northshore Family Center

Summer Camp Effort. We wanted to publicly pass along our thanks to the teens who worked so hard to plan and produce this benefit.

Too often, we hear the negative choices teens make, and we overlook the positive choices. The teens on the Northshore Youth Council volunteer their time after school and on weekends in their quest to make their community stronger, and they serve as positive role models to other teens.

Thanks also to Mary Matlin for mentoring the teens, giving them opportunities to become leaders in our community and devoting her career to children.

Jim and Debbie Fullerton

Bothell

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