Community must bridge ed funding gap together



To the esteemed members of the Yelm community,

I address you today not merely as residents who fulfill vital roles in our community — as bankers, accountants, engineers, mechanics, doctors, teachers, counselors and many others — but as the collective heart and spirit of this place we call home. Though I may not contain the most advanced or complex knowledge of finances, having sat through numerous board meetings and examining both printed and digital reports, I know that state government only pays for 87% of our school district’s budget. While this statistic might represent mere numbers or financial obligations to some, to me it signifies much more. It highlights the critical need for the remaining 13% of our funding — a gap that we must bridge together.

While the thought of additional levies often sparks concern over increased taxes and personal financial loss, I urge us to reframe this perspective: Consider it not as a loss but as a pivotal investment in our collective future. The landscape of every individual’s lives, whether marked by retirement, new families or independent living, will without a doubt significantly change within the next decade. The students currently enrolled in the Yelm Community Schools district, myself included, will emerge as the future leaders, professionals and caretakers of our beloved community.

A wise friend of mine shared with me this simple truth: It’s easy to care for yourself. It’s easy to care for others. It’s easy to act for yourself. It’s not easy to act for others as that requires much courage and dedication. This levy represents one of those moments where action is necessary, not just for our immediate benefit but for the future wellbeing of our community. As a junior in high school with only one year remaining, the impact of this levy may be minimal to my education, yet its significance for my younger sister, my peers and future generations is profound.

Our current student body holds the potential architects, medical professionals, educators, technicians and innovators of tomorrow. The educational and extracurricular programs available to students through the district serves as the foundation for these future achievements. The approval of this levy is crucial to maintaining and enhancing these opportunities. Without it, we risk diminishing the dreams and potentials of our youth, compelling them to settle for paths unaligned with their passions or capabilities.

Athletics, too, plays a crucial role in the development of our youth, offering lessons in teamwork, resilience and health, as well as providing a space for individuals to excel. To take away these opportunities would be a grave disservice to our community’s future.

My aspirations, along with those of my peers, are boundless. We dream of futures filled with achievement and contribution, not just for our personal gratification, but for the enrichment of this community that has nurtured us. However, to make these dreams a reality, we require your belief, your support and, yes, your investment.

As the city of Yelm continues to grow and evolve, it is imperative that we remain united in our commitment of fostering a community that thrives on collaboration, mutual support and shared success. This levy is more than a financial gesture: It is a testament to our collective belief in the potential of our youth and the future we will inherit.

I humbly ask that you view this levy not just as a tax but as a critical investment in the future leaders, professionals and citizens of Yelm. Let us ensure that the message we send to our youth, and to each other, is one of unwavering support and boundless faith in what we can achieve together.

With all respect and optimism for our future,

Lucia Mohrweis

Yelm High School junior and school board student representative