The VOTE Committee is an independent group of parents and community members who volunteer their time to organize, fundraise and campaign for the approval of school bond and levy measures.
State election law does not allow the school district to fund or support marketing campaigns for elections.
The acronym V.O.T.E. stands for the Voice of Tahoma Education. Our volunteers include parents, teachers, school staff members, students, grandparents and local businesses. We wholeheartedly believe in our schools and the mission to sustain and build on the inspirational learning environments and award-winning programs that make our district Tahoma.
So, what is a levy measure?
Like most districts, Tahoma must use levies to keep the district running, because the state does not fully fund education.
In 2014, Voters renewed the district’s operations levy and technology levy. The operations levy covers more than 20 percent of the district budget. Without it, we would lose a crucial portion of our teachers, support staff, extracurricular activities, sports, supplies and transportation. The district cannot function without it. The technology levy funds almost every area of tech access districtwide, for kids and for teachers. It’s necessary because the state pays next to nothing for technology. Without it, the district could not fix computers, update hardware and software or ensure that our students are truly Future Ready.
How is a bond measure different from a levy measure?
Because the state doesn’t fund the construction or maintenance of schools, voters must approve bond measures to pay for them. Unlike levies, bonds are financed over a longer period, usually 20 years – much like a mortgage. Thanks to voters approving the $195 million bond measure in the fall of 2013, the district is constructed a brand new Tahoma High School in the center of Maple Valley. The bond is vital to the future of our district as it will help reduce the severe overcrowding. Tahoma is the second-fastest growing district in King County, just behind Issaquah.
The bond also paid for “warm, safe and dry” improvements to many aging facilities, such as new roofs and siding, modernized security systems, and a significant reduction of portables.
In addition to providing many, many volunteers, the parent-teacher groups and the unions offered much-needed financial support. The VOTE Committee relies on those funds to help publicize accurate, compelling information that our community needs to make an educated decision. We do that in many ways, from doorhangers to yard signs, buttons and car clings that allowed community members to demonstrate their support; billboards, ads on social media, robocalls and pulling information from statewide databases to improve our strategies.
Every dollar donated goes to campaign materials; volunteers and board members are unpaid.
In years past, between elections the VOTE Committee would essentially disband, and fundraising stopped altogether. Then, when a new campaign season began, the committee had to start from scratch.
Now we are maintaining consistency, steady fundraising and keeping the board members in their roles even in the off years. The VOTE Committee continues to strive to provide accurate information about how bond and levy dollars are being spent, and to celebrate the fact that in our district, Tahoma kids come first!
PO Box 352
Ravensdale, WA 98051