Submitted by Centralia Community Foundation

T

he Centralia Community Foundation (CCF) began supporting the Centralia School District (CSD) in early 2018. To date, our investment has been over $1.2 million, and the progress we have seen is very positive.

But it’s more than just progress for our kids; there are also great benefits that flow from investing in education. We know that quality education is crucial for job opportunity growth and community renewal. That is why CCF supports the upcoming levy vote and believes that, as a community, we cannot afford to fall behind by letting this local levy fail.

“There is just too much to lose!” points out Mark Dulin the CCF Education Committee Chair and who has been working closely with the CSD. He gave us a few very important reasons to support the levy:

  • A great deal is learned in programs and after school activities that the levy funding makes possible. High school theatre group, knowledge bowl, computer robotics, gaming esports club, school music concerts…these all need levy funding to continue. A student’s first chance to participate in intraleague athletic competition, middle school travel sports, junior varsity, and a dozen different high school varsity sports are made available by levy funding at little or no cost to families. All these give our kids safe places to be excited, discover commitment, and share experiences.
  • Without the local levy support there will be little or no budget for advancing and updating Centralia schools in-classroom computers and technology. Learning digital life skills is essential for most future career paths and not having these updates puts our kids behind.
  • A failed levy will cut teachers, reduces student schedule options, and means we will lose some of our advanced classes at Centralia middle and high school that challenge our most studious kids. A successful levy will help continue advanced classes and add accredited College in the Classroom classes at no cost to student families. This will keep our high achievers in our own schools.
  • Our new District Superintendent, Dr. Lisa Grant, has already made significant changes in creating a community accessible school district. She is currently setting up the Citizens’ Advisory Committee and Budget Task Force, giving us confidence in the transparency and community collaboration she has pledged to lead.

“A well-trained workforce equals a strong community.” says Bob Guenther, President
Thurston Lewis Mason County Labor Council and founding board member of CCF. “An investment in education is the best investment a community can make.”

centralia football
Photo credit: Grant Clark

Over half of the CCF board members are small business owners, and the other half work actively in education or supporting job creation in our area. They all understand the value of quality education and what it means for our community in the long term.

Vicki Pogorelc, who has been on the Centralia College Foundation board for 18 years and became a founding member of CCF Board 3 years ago adds, “We came together to enhance education and create a positive change for everyone in Centralia. And by supporting CSD K-12 education students will have an open door to post-secondary education. In today’s world that is essential for career opportunities.”

Dan Rich is the President of the CCF and also serves as President of the Lewis Economic Development Council. He believes as all CCF board members believe, that supporting CSD will have a tremendous economic ripple effect on our community. When schools are supported, we will have a well-educated and well-trained workforce. Companies will want to move here because of that. And families search for supported school districts as desirable places to live.

The ripple effect continues with local business growth. That means increased housing development, more restaurants, more stores, more services — all of which equals more jobs.

The current levy is not a new tax. It is simply a two-year extension of the existing levy which expires at the end of 2020.

Vote YES for Centralia schools.
Links to more levy info on CCF homepage: https://centraliacf.org/

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