North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

School District, city look at legislative priorities

 


The City of Marysville and Marysville School District work to provide services and enhance the quality of life for residents and businesses here in the Marysville/Tulalip community. Now that our state lawmakers are back in session in Olympia, we’re discussing the following legislative priorities and messages with them.

City of Marysville

Seek state funding:

• Ebey Waterfront Park and Trail Project: This centerpiece for economic development, downtown revitalization and tourism along Marysville’s southern boundary includes a trail through the newly restored Qwuloolt Estuary that will connect the downtown park and the Sunnyside neighborhood.

• Grove Street Overcrossing: Building a new overcrossing at the BNSF mainline between Cedar Avenue and State Avenue will help eliminate significant congestion and lengthy traffic backups currently experienced due to increasing train traffic through the city.

Centennial Trail Connector: The Bayview Trail between Getchell and southeast Marysville will interconnect with the Centennial Trail, offering direct local access to the 29-mile trail between Snohomish and nearly the Skagit County line.

• Public Safety Building/Jail Funding Assistance: Marysville’s Public Safety Building was built in 1989. Now 28 years later, Marysville is Snohomish County’s second-largest city and the facility has reached the end of its functional life cycle. The city is near completion of a study to determine the most cost-effective way to design and build a facility that meets public safety needs for the foreseeable future.

Important policy issues:

• Address homelessness, mental health, and opioid issues. Specifically, support programs dealing directly with drug addiction and obtaining help for those suffering from mental health issues.

• Protect State shared revenues from further sweeps.

• Assist with increasing indigent defense costs due to the recent State Supreme Court ruling.

• Prevent unfunded mandates and governance mandates while supporting local control over policy initiatives.

• Re-evaluate implementation of DOE Manual for low-impact development.

Priority program requests:

• Provide adequate and sustainable funding for the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

• Maintain funding for Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program.

• Maintain funding for Associated Development Organizations including the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County.

• Continue funding to replace the aging case management system for courts of limited jurisdiction..

You can get more details at http://www.marysvillewa.gov/782/2017-Legislative-Priorities.

Marysville School District

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, thousands of teachers from across Washington state, and more than 150 from the Snohomish County region visited the state legislature to ask their elected leaders to comply with the 2012 Supreme Court McCleary ruling to meet its “paramount duty” to fund education by the 2018 deadline. Currently, school districts across the state must rely on local property taxes to supplement pay of teachers, as well as classified employees and administrators in order to provide competitive wages. In addition to fully funding basic education for all students, there are a number of legislative measures related to education. Below are a few we will be watching.

School Bond Approval Requirements: Before 2004, the state required a supermajority to pass local levies. This means that 60 percent of the vote was needed rather than a simple majority of 50 percent. This outdated standard allowed a minority of voters to determine our community’s direction, and made it difficult to get the resources needed to support Marysville and Tulalip students. Bond measures, however, still require a supermajority to pass. Changing this is one of the priorities laid out by the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA).

During the April 2016 election, the Marysville School District bond received more than 50 percent of yes votes. Unfortunately, less than 50 percent of the population decided that Marysville’s future did not include improved school facilities. As a District, we will continue build trust with our residents and demonstrate our commitment to improving the lives and educational outcomes of our local children, while supporting legislation that helps us achieve this.

Academic Rigor and Equity in Public Education: The Marysville School District also joins with the WSSDA in their support of legislation that provides innovative and equitable solutions to enable students across our state to obtain the 24-credit graduation requirement and be prepared for college and career. The goal of this legislation is to provide additional opportunities for students to access rigorous coursework, including transition classes during their senior year.

Additionally, we support legislation that funds class size reductions, supports professional development for staff, and removes barriers to hiring effective teachers. We also support measures that allow us to create innovative programming based on outcomes, rather than mandated student seat time, staffing, grade levels or operational restrictions.

Lastly, we support measures that help care for our most vulnerable students and their families. This includes legislation that fully funds special education programs and services; provides funding for school nurses, social workers, and counselors to do their best work on behalf of students; and dedicates funding to help our homeless students and families.

If you’re interested in learning more about our shared 2016 legislative priorities, visit http://www.msd25.org/WSSDAPriorities.

 

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