“Noble’s history, background and institutional knowledge commend him and are deserving of appreciation, but a fresher perspective and a greater willingness to challenge both lawmakers and district officials seems necessary. Either Cail or Graves would be a good choice in that regard, but Graves impresses with a deep understanding of legislative and instructional issues. Graves’ membership on the board for the Alliance for Gun Responsibility also should serve the board regarding student safety issues.”
EEA endorses Rory Graves for Position 3, a seat currently held by Gary Noble.
“With children currently attending school in Edmonds, Rory is incredibly in touch with the most crucial issues facing students and educators in the Edmonds School District,” said Nofziger-Meadows.
“Her experience as a parent of young children in our schools, her background as a digital engagement manager, and her commitment to including all voices in conversations about the direction of our school district, will bring a fresh perspective to our Board.”
“The communication around the Right At School program is just one example of the need for better stakeholder input around board decisions in our district. First, it’s important to acknowledge that attending school board meetings requires privilege — transportation, the ability to speak and understand English, availability to attend an evening meeting without work conflicts, a spouse or babysitter at home for young children, etc. This isn’t the reality for many parents. Granted, the board minutes are on the website and the meetings usually accommodate public comments, but opportunities to participate in these important conversations, especially about something that will impact so many families — child care — were far too limited. Technology has the potential to make these meetings more accessible, open up channels for input and make board decisions more transparent.”
“There has been a lot of confusion around the budget challenges the district has faced by voters, and it’s easy to see why — changes at the state level have dramatically impacted where our funding comes from and how it can be used. The list of challenges is long — the levy cliff, lower regionalization calculations, school employee benefit cost hikes, a failed capital gains tax that might have increased funding for special education, fewer staff retirements than anticipated, the list goes on. The good news? The state increased funding to schools by nearly 20 percent over the previous biennium. The bad news? For Edmonds School District, where local taxes have been a major source of funding, new restrictions have vastly reduced our funding and how we can use it.”