Letter: Voters should pass Yelm levy to support students



As a Yelm Community Schools parent I am urging our community to vote yes for kids in the upcoming levy. Our students are finally recovering from the years of pandemic sacrifices: They’re regaining skills, building face-to-face friendships and joining teams, extracurricular activities and clubs again.

Connecting students with their peers and community prepares them to do better academically and socially. The state does not provide any funding for student activities or athletics. Sports, clubs and after-school activities at all grade levels enrich a student’s educational experience. 

If the levy fails, the financial reality will be larger classroom sizes, loss of staff, sports and music, and loss of social and emotional supports our students desperately need. The state does not cover the full cost of special education, operational costs, staffing (such as teachers, mental health counselors, social workers, school nurses) and other important needs our students have. The state only funds about 79% of the district’s budget.

Costs associated with the activities and athletics include advisers, coaches, officials, transportation for travel, insurance, facility usage and maintenance, equipment, uniforms and supplies. The costs will be about $1.7 million in the 2023-24 school year, according to www.ycs.wednet.edu.

This is not a new tax. It’s a continuation of the current levy tax. It ensures that the district can continue to provide all these services and extracurricular activities our kids need.

Vote yes for what we value most: our children!

Tami Kirkham