Lawmaker says one of his top priorities is to ‘do more to ensure our students have access to safe, modern school facilities’
State Rep. Peter Abbarno joined school administrators, staff, and architects Wednesday on a tour of educational facilities in the Woodland and Ridgefield school districts.
Abbarno’s first stop was Woodland Middle School. Officials said the district needs a fourth elementary school, as well as significant upgrades to all or part of these schools.
Next, he visited Columbia Elementary School in Woodland, where the district expects to have more than 670 new housing units over the next five years.
The tour capped off with a visit to Ridgefield High School. With a lack of bond funding, the district has taken a phased approach to upgrades for this school, which has a mix of old and new buildings.
“We must do more to ensure our students have access to safe, modern school facilities. That’s one of my top priorities,” said Abbarno, R-Centralia, ranking member on the House Capital Budget Committee. “As a legislator, husband to a teacher, and father of two school-aged children, these tours offer a great opportunity to meet with school administrators, teachers, and students about how to best serve the educational needs of the next generation.”
During the 2023 legislative session, Abbarno was instrumental in developing the 2023-25 capital budget, Senate Bill 5200, which directed $872 million for K-12 education.
The tours were organized by the Washington Association of Maintenance and Operation Administrators (WAMOA), a professional organization dedicated to the management of maintenance and operations of educational facilities in Washington state.
“Education is the great equalizer. The best investment the state can make to end the cycle of intergenerational poverty is education,” added Abbarno. “I appreciate all the hard work of the folks at the Washington Association of Maintenance and Operation Administrators that went into sponsoring this tour.”
The 2024 legislative session is scheduled to convene on Jan. 8.
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