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Let Schools Know You Support Them

Every two years, Washington’s school districts must go to the voters for renewal of the property tax levy that raises 20 percent of their operating costs. It’s a healthy exercise. It reminds a community how essential public schools are to the local economy and to local young people. And it forces schools to heed local residents’ concerns.

So take a few minutes from your schedule next Tuesday, and vote.

Before you do, think about the children you know and the schools near your home, because that’s the issue.

And if you feel some spending cuts are healthy but realize severe school cuts would be social suicide, consider this: The Legislature recently cut the amount local levies can raise. So even if you vote yes on Tuesday, as we hope you do, schools will have significantly less to spend than they have now - and tax rates will drop.

Preparing for these cuts and knowing that yes votes must be earned, local school administrators have been devising ways to spend less and at the same time to meet public expectations for high standards and discipline. For example, Spokane’s District 81 has trimmed overhead while adding programs to crack down on truancy, help kids with homework and offer advanced learning for top students.

Public schools are improving. They need and deserve the community’s support - on Tuesday, on the day after that, and the days after that.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = John Webster/For the editorial board