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Sunday, May 18th

"Thank You!" From SJ Public Schools Foundation


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incredible generosity of our community!
To the Editor:
The San Juan Public Schools Foundation is so grateful for the incredible generosity of our community’s response to the Save Our Schools (SOS) Campaign. We are more than half way toward meeting the “challenge gift” of $300,000!

Through the SOS campaign over 450 families have donated $94,270 and pledged $6,920. In addition Valmark’s gift of $50,000, a gift of $10,000 from Rich and Joan Komen, and $10,000 from Roche Harbor makes the total of “matching gifts” to date over $170,000.

Now it is imperative that we raise the final $130,000 in order to match the remaining challenge gift. This will restore the athletic program (including boys’ soccer, girls’ volleyball, boys’ tennis, golf, track, and wrestling), restore support for students struggling to learn to read, and restore essential secretarial and custodial services. Pledges can still be made on the SOS hotline at 370-7925 or donations can be made on line at www.sjpsf.org. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your contribution!

We want to thank our Superintendent, Michael Soltman, for his leadership and the quick response of his team in identifying next year’s funding crisis before most districts in Washington even knew there was a problem. This early outreach to the community, clearly communicating the gravity of our situation, gave us the time and opportunity to respond proactively. And the overwhelmingly positive response has been possible because of this very caring, supportive, and generous community.

We want to thank the community for this initial response to the school funding crisis. We continue to be inspired by this community’s resolve to Save Our Schools!

The San Juan Public Schools Foundation

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What an awesome community we live in!
To the Editor:

The San Juan Public Schools Foundation is tremendously thankful for the incredible community response to the Save Our Schools – SOS – phone appeal. We had an amazing group of volunteers we want to thank including many parents, school staff, FHHS students, and community members. And thank you to Kings Market for the refreshments!

Most important was the positive response from all of you who answered our calls! Over $65,000 was pledged in addition to the gift of $10,500 for the Friday Harbor Labs Science Outreach Program!

The challenge gift of $300,000 has been extended, and pledges can still be made on the SOS hotline at 370-7925 or donations can be made on line at www.sjpsf.org. Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your contribution!

We want to thank the community for this initial response to the school funding crisis. We are inspired by this community’s resolve to save our schools!

The San Juan Public Schools Foundation


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Monday, May 5th

WA Schools Underfunded by $2 B A Year


Dear Editor,

It’s astonishing, infuriating, stupefying: in a wealthy state whose Constitution proclaims the education of our children its top priority, our schools are underfunded to the tune of two billion dollars a year.

On San Juan Island, that deficit works out to $600,000 a year, this year, next year and into the foreseeable future. On the table for cuts, every educational program you hold dear: AP classes, special education, ESL, marine science, the entire sports program, art, drama, music, plus the entire bus system, the school lunch program, teachers, custodial staff, administrators. If we, the citizens of San Juan Island can’t come up with this money by May 15th, something important will be cut. Not fluff, not fat, but the meat and bone of our public school system.

This is a crisis, not of our making but courtesy of our legislators in Olympia. Their solution is that we sue them – no joke - to get their attention. Our solution was on display at a May 1st public school board forum I attended at the Middle School Commons. Superintendent Michael Soltman and Board Chair Boyd Pratt explained cuts that have already been made and potential cuts now being contemplated. They asked for ideas. San Juan Islanders were brimming with passion for our public schools and with solutions both to the immediate crisis and our chronic problem. Many of the attendees were parents with a stake in the system. It was also heartening to see that citizens without children in the public schools were also in attendance. All recognized the value of public education to our society and our future. Many found the will to do what our state legislature will not: by the end of the evening Islanders had donated $3610 to the San Juan Public Schools Foundation.

Only $596,390 to go. Surely in the wealthiest county in Washington state, we can come up with that. Then we can sue the Legislature to uphold the state Constitution and fully fund the education of our children.

Bryn Barnard
Friday Harbor


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