Highline Public Schools supporters try again to pass Proposition 1

BURIEN, Wash. -- Run-down schools and overcrowding are just some of the issues supporters of Highline Public Schools say passing Proposition 1 will fix.

The last two bond measures have failed, but supporters are hoping third times the charm.

It will take 60 percent of the vote on November 8 to get the bond measure to pass. Supporters say as the district grows, it’s more important than ever, while opponents tell me more taxes is the last thing this community needs.

With their enthusiasm and energy, supporters of proposition one like Highline High Senior Benji Box hope they can convince enough voters to vote ‘yes’ for Highline Public Schools.

“I really hope that us coming out and waving these signs will get us those extra 50, 60 voters to push us over that 60 percent edge,” said Box.

Among those holding signs was Aaron Garcia, who admits he voted ‘no’ for the schools’ bond measures in the past, until he joined a community advisory board to re-write the measure this year.

“Once I was able to really realize that it’s just bigger than just my school, it was easy to get behind,” said Garcia.

This time around, the bond asks for $299 million dollars that will come in three phases. Phase one would replace Highline High and Des Moines Elementary, build a new middle school and expand elementary classrooms.

“We have overcrowded classrooms, we don’t have enough space for all our kids,” said Washington State Senator Karen Keiser. “It’s a growing school district, and it’s a high needs school district.”

If passed, it would mean approximately $.79 for $1000 of assessed property value.

However, not everyone is convinced that people in the Highline District can afford it, like Karen Steele, who is leading up efforts to vote ‘no.’ She says she wants to know how the district let the schools fall into disrepair in the first place.

Senator Keiser says she understands the concerns, but she and other supporters believe a vote for highline public schools is a vote in favor of the whole community.

“Everybody is concerned about taxes, but we’re also concerned about our kids, and our schools and our communities,” said Senator Keiser.

“If you go through with the bond and people get a better education in your neighborhood as a result and so it seems a logical choice, just vote ‘yes.’

If this bond passes, it will be the first time Highline has done so in ten years.