The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

The Student News Site Of Central Kitsap High School

Cougar Chronicle

Editorial: The Education of Our Students is Worth Investing In

The CKSD levy is set to expire unless it passes in its April special election, jeopardizing students’ education, access to extracurriculars, and school safety and security.
Libraries+in+CKSD+will+already+face+the+devastating+loss+of+library+clerks+reassignments+next+year+due+to+the+elimination+of+Elementary+and+Secondary+School+Emergency+Relief+Fund+%28ESSER%29+and+a+decrease+in+student+enrollment.+The+levys+potential+failure+will+only+further+endanger+school+libraries%2C+threatening+the+librarian+roles+and+capabilities+themselves.
Jada Cowley
Libraries in CKSD will already face the devastating loss of library clerks’ reassignments next year due to the elimination of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) and a decrease in student enrollment. The levy’s potential failure will only further endanger school libraries, threatening the librarian roles and capabilities themselves.

The Central Kitsap School District’s 2024 proposed levy has failed in its first round, and $29,600,000 will go with it.

In the wake of this financial depletion, students will be robbed of academic opportunities, sports and extracurricular activities will become less accessible, district transportation will face reductions, and student safety and security in both physical and social contexts will be threatened. 

The student body will not be the only demographic to face adverse effects. Over 100 staff positions that support the 11,000 students of CKSD, including teachers, security personnel, and physical, social, and emotional support staff are at risk of reduction or elimination. The job security of school employees across the district is on the line, and in their absence, students will bear the loss of the academic staff and resources. 

In the interest of protecting the education of our fellow students, the editorial board of The Cougar Chronicle firmly advocates for the passage of the 2024 CKSD levy. 

As the leaders of Central Kitsap School District’s only student-led news publication, we have experienced how uplifting and endlessly beneficial specialized programs and extracurriculars are. An opportunity to connect with peers of similar dreams and diverse backgrounds, these organizations spark flames of lifelong passion and joy within their participants. From singing together in the spotlight of the CKPAC to scoring a winning goal in a soccer match at Cougar Stadium, programs that exist because of and are supported by the levy provide pathways to self-discovery and social connection: without the passage of a levy, student development and collaboration will be severely hindered.

For decades, The Cougar Chronicle has worked alongside our school’s cherished sports teams, clubs, theater program, elective courses, and other extracurriculars. We know that these academic assets are integral – not only to our student body, but to the culture of our school. Students deserve access to these core elements of a joyful school community and career.

The CKSD warns that with the failure of a levy, school sports, clubs, drama, or music offered outside the school day may be made “pay-to-play” or even eliminated, creating unjust, unwarranted, and unnecessary barriers to student involvement.  

A fundamental pillar of students’ school experience is torn away when they are deprived of educational pathways that contribute to personal growth and self-exploration. For many, these academic opportunities are life-altering. Elimination of AP courses and various electives denies students deserved opportunities to challenge themselves, threatening critical thought development and self-discovery.

The school environment should continue to be a place in which students can seek refuge, experience growth, and feel adequately prepared to transition into a successful life after graduation. Limiting the resources that serve students at the primary, intermediate, and secondary levels will have cascading and detrimental consequences on the great minds of our future.

Students with higher physical, social, emotional, and financial needs will likely suffer the greatest amongst the range of staff and students that will be disadvantaged by the consequences of the levy’s failure. The CKSD estimates the reduction of 18 physical, social, and emotional support staff positions, including counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Elementary student support specialists and elementary paraeducators are included under an additional estimated reduction of 128 staff positions. 

Though the stakes are high, there is still time to counteract the damage that will be inflicted upon our schools. The CKSD will hold another special election on April 23, allowing eligible voters residing within the district to determine the fate of the proposed replacement levy. During the initial special election held on February 13, the levy failed with 8,438 (50.4%) CK community members voting in opposition to the levy and 8,300 (49.6%) voting in favor of it. 

With both groups of voters polling neck and neck, less than 1% of voters may decide the future of millions of dollars in funding. The passage of the levy doesn’t only allocate local tax dollars to our schools – without it in place, CKSD will no longer qualify for additional state and federal funding, including $600,000 in Local Effort Assistance and $8,000,000 in Heavy Impact Aid.

The editorial board of The Cougar Chronicle urges eligible voters within CKSD to vote “yes” on the levy measure’s April 23 special election. We are in dire need of community support and funding now more than ever before. Our students deserve to have their education prioritized.

Information about registering to vote can be found with the local Kitsap Auditors’ Office. Eligible voters 18 years or older residing in the CKSD should receive a ballot in the mail by April 11, and 10 24-hour ballot drop boxes can be found throughout the Kitsap area, including Silverdale’s KCSO substation and Silverdale’s Rotary Park. 

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About the Contributors
Jada Cowley, Reporter, Assistant Editor
Jada Cowley is the Assistant Editor in Chief of The Cougar Chronicle and Junior at Central Kitsap High School. Born in Maui and raised in Oahu, she has now lived in Kitsap County for four years. Cowley has always had a passion for writing and decided to join Journalism because she feels that it’s more necessary than ever to cover important stories and amplify voices in the community. Jada is very passionate about music, horror, and literature. 
Rosalie Johnson, Reporter, Editor-in-Chief
Rosalie Johnson is a senior at Central Kitsap High School and is in her fourth year with the journalism program and The Cougar Chronicle. She joined Journalism to connect with her community through education, information, and collaboration, and appreciates the continuous opportunities to improve writing and communication skills that this course offers. Rosalie hopes to pursue a career in journalism following graduation and hopes that this course will help prepare her for this future. Outside of school, Rosalie loves reading, attending concerts, visiting state parks and trails, traveling, and spending time with her loved ones.
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