6 questions to ask yourself before voting

The OlympianFebruary 9, 2014 

FILE - Chayil Rodriguez (from left) Ellowyn Moore, Meg Olmstead and Orion Williams listen to a story in Michele Neely's special education class in 2008 at Madison Elementary School. (The Olympian file, 2008)

Five Thurston County school districts are asking voters to approve bond or levy measures in the Feb. 11 special election. They all deserve voter support.

Aging facilities have reached the point that three districts — Tenino, Tumwater and North Thurston — need successful bond measures to update or replace building infrastructure. All three bond measures address critical health, safety and security concerns for students and staff.

Two districts — Olympia and Griffin — are running levies. Griffin is seeking to replace its maintenance and operation levy that expires this year, which voters approved in 2012. Olympia is replacing its technology and safety levy that also expires in 2014.

Before casting your ballot for the Feb. 11 special election, if you haven’t already, please consider these questions:

 • Did you know the state of Washington ranks near the top (fourth) in the U.S. for having the largest number of technology companies?

 • Did you also know, that based on the number of higher education students enrolled in science and engineering courses, we rank almost at the bottom (46th)?

 • Do you believe that to interest more young people in STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and math — schools need to do a better job of teaching students about STEM career opportunities and training teachers in best practices for STEM education?

 • And on another topic — if you were a student in school or the parent of a student, would you worry that most of the mass killings in recent U.S. history have taken place in public schools?

 • Do you believe that simple building improvements, such as creating single points of entry, could better track who is entering our schools and protect students from someone desperate to cause harm?

 • And finally, don’t you expect public servants responsible for expensive taxpayer-owned assets, such as school buildings, to be able to maintain them responsibly so they don’t fall into disrepair, incurring even greater expense?

If you have answered “yes” to most of these questions, then support the South Sound school levy or bond in your district on the Feb. 11 ballot. And, by all means, do not forget to vote.

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