Vancouver resident Gary Wilson responds to the election results for the Evergreen School District’s levy request
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
The Evergreen ‘Yes for Schools’ has effectively bought the recent April 26 election. They had two mass mailings in three weeks to almost 100,000 registered voters each time as well as Door Knocker flyers and four times the amount of signs. The voters of the Evergreen School District were basically brainwashed (by an approximately $100 to $1 effort) into voting for this second attempt at a levy that had previously lost by over 3,600 votes in February. An estimated $70,000 was spent vs. $750 and it worked.
The initial count on election night was razor close as there were 10,916 ‘Yes’ votes to 10,633 ‘No’ votes showing a lead of only 283 votes (50.66% to 49.34%). The second mass mailing occurring in the last week of the election had its effect in the ballots counted after that initial return as the ‘Yes’ votes took a more commanding lead.
Any candidate, referendum, levy, or initiative would typically win by a landslide given the same $100 to $1 ratio. That said, it shows you can buy an election when the vote would otherwise go in the opposite direction. Personally, I was more concerned about getting the truth out to voters (parents/grandparents) than I was about whether the levy passed or failed. I know this levy funds some needed support and extracurricular activities. The question comes in though, how do we effect change when the school district and school board only cares about agendas and not the quality of education the district is giving our children?
As stated in an earlier Op Ed and in the Voters Pamphlet: 80% of ESD students are failing Math standards and 60% are failing English (per OSPI). Contrast Camas school district where over 70% are passing English standards and well over half are passing Math. I’ve asked the board to do an analysis to show which students have passed and failed Math standards and who were their teachers for the last two years and see if there is a pattern identifying which teachers are successful and which are not. Or does this board believe Camas students are two to three times smarter than Evergreen students?
Evergreen as well as Washington state on the whole has been failing to meet standards more and more each year for the last several years as more and more class time is spent on social engineering lessons (‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ and ‘Social Emotional Learning’ which among other things has our children question their gender) as well as sexually explicit Planned Parenthood Flash Curriculum (instead of more factual and family friendly “Check the Facts”). As a result, less and less class time is now spent on academics (English, Math, and Science) and it shows.
I believe even ESD’s 8 out of 10 failing Math students could probably figure that arithmetic out, whereas sadly, 54% of ESD’s voters/parents and the entire school board failed. We’ve shared these pathetic percentages of students meeting standards at several board meetings with no response until one of us mentioned at the March 8 board meeting that “we will actively work to defeat your levy.’’ That instantly got this board’s attention. Why?
This board and the district strangely could care less about teaching the fundamentals. They do care, however, about two things: they care about teaching the progressive agenda and they care about the money.
The current levy ($38,650,000) only makes up 11% of their approx. $350,000,000 budget. The other 89% (or approx. $311,350,000) is state and federally funded with your tax dollars. We fund the entire $350 million (but you only have a say over this $38 million or 11% levy). How do you effect change when an entity is not doing its job effectively? By voting down the only portion you have any power over (the levy). Sadly, it’s what needed to be done for the right reasons. When you “Do the Math”… approving it only continues the perpetual funding of poor education. When will we wake up?