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Dear Friends and Neighbors,
On Veterans Day, Americans are given the opportunity to hit the pause button in the midst of busy lives, to honor the men and women whose service and sacrifice make our freedom possible. It's a chance to take the time to remember their courage and be grateful for all they do to protect us.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Construction on the camp began in April of 1917. From its small beginnings at the dawn of World War I, to its current status as one of the world's largest military installations, this base has made a significant impact on the communities and economy of our region.
Generations of military men, women and their families stationed at JBLM have provided for our national defense. The base currently operates as a training and mobilization center. It is the only Army base west of the Rocky Mountains set to rapidly deploy and help sustain forces in case of a military or regional crisis.
On Saturday, Nov. 11th, the City of Lakewood will commemorate JBLM's 100th anniversary at a Veterans Day ceremony. A group of community leaders, including myself, will help host the event. Presenters will discuss the 100-year history of the base, as well as the centennial period of World War I. The event is open to the public and community members. I encourage you to attend.
City of Lakewood – Veterans Day ceremony
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Lakewood City Hall; council chambers
Address: 6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499
Education funding update
When you look at the new investments being made in K-12 education, the numbers are historic. We are truly prioritizing education. State funding for schools has climbed from $13.6 billion in 2012, to more than $22 billion in the current 2-year budget. When all the reforms are in place by 2019-21, basic education K-12 funding will be more than $26.2 billion.
The agreement that produced the most significant changes to education funding in more than 30-years was the result of months of tough, bipartisan negotiations. We worked hard to get it right for our students.
In July, a group of bipartisan lawmakers approved an 85-page document which includes information on the McCleary funding measures designed by the Legislature. This report answers the state Supreme Court's decision that the state was not meeting its “paramount duty” to fund basic education. In 2012, the court ordered the state to adequately provide for education by 2018. This report has been submitted to the court with the assertion that with the new changes, the Legislature is now meeting its obligation to amply fund K-12 education.
The governor, attorney general, Legislature and Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) all agree, we have funded the state's program of basic education. There will be work to do, as we begin to align programs and the initial implementation of the changes. Systems need updating, and we have to consider other issues as they appear. However, we have produced a strong effort to answer the needs of our schools, ensuring generations to come enjoy the benefits of a sustainable and equitable funding model for K-12 education.
Please feel free contact me at my office if you have any questions, ideas or feedback. My contact information is listed below.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in Olympia.
424 John L. O'Brien Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7890 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000