White Paper: Safe & Quality Learning Environments For All

With Proposition 1, Tacoma voters have the opportunity to ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for all Tacoma students

Over the past decade, Tacoma students have made improvements that are nothing less than astounding; they deserve schools, classrooms, and playfields that continue to improve right along with them. Tacoma voters can support Tacoma students by voting to approve Prop. 1 on Feb. 11, 2020.

Back in 2010, as just over half of Tacoma students were graduating high school, Tacoma schools were nationally shamed as dropout factories by USA Today. As uncomfortable as it was, this ignominious recognition served as a galvanizing wake-up call for the Tacoma community, which rallied to provide a more supportive learning environment for students like never before.

Tacoma students, in turn, responded in remarkable fashion.

Back then, 55 percent of students achieved four-year on-time graduation, and 58 percent achieved five-year extended graduation. Today, both numbers are greater than 89 percent – surpassing the state average.

Back then, 77 percent of students were passing all their classes, or all but one. Today, that number is 91 percent.

As recently as 2015, only 80 percent of 12th graders took the SAT and 51 percent of 12th graders completed the FAFSA. Today, those numbers are 99 percent and 70 percent, respectively.

It’s an impressive educational success story. But, of course, this story is never over – and nor should be our commitment to ensuring that it remains a successful one.

On February 11, 2020, for the equivalent of two lattes per month, Tacoma voters have the opportunity to invest in learning environments that continue to allow Tacoma students to rise to their potential.

Proposition 1, the neighborhood school and safety bond measure, will renew our commitment to quality education for every child and provide students and teachers with the best possible environments for teaching and learning.

Prop. 1 will:

 Rebuild or Replace Eight Neighborhood Schools

  • Lowell Elementary
  • Downing Elementary
  • Bryant Montessori
  • Fawcett Elementary
  • Skyline Elementary
  • Whittier Elementary
  • Hunt Middle School (Phase II)
  • Oakland High School.

Improve School Environments for Teaching and Learning

  • Fix or replace leaky or deteriorating roofs (list schools)
  • Up-to-date classrooms, technology infrastructure, and science labs*
  • Upgrade classroom technology, online digital media instruction, bulletin boards*
  • Fix or replace aging school boilers, elevators, and bathroom facilities
  • Replace portable classrooms with permanent classrooms (Bryant, Downing, Oakland, Lowell)
  • ADA upgrades to preserve and improve accessibility

Make School Safety, Security, and Health Upgrades

  • Basic Life Safety, 911 Emergency communications, fire alarm and sprinkler systems
  • Heating, electrical, mechanical and plumbing upgrades to maintain clean air and safe water
  • Controlled school entry and access, security cameras, card readers and intercom systems
  • Seismic and structural upgrades for earthquake safety*
  • Improved play areas, playfields, and athletic facilities to meet safety standards

Preserve Neighborhood Schools

  • Exterior building improvements to prevent rain, weather, or mold damage
  • Repair aged and deteriorating brick walls, facades, and masonry
  • Replace worn-out flooring in classrooms or common areas
  • Re-paint and update deteriorated walls in classrooms and other school areas
  • Update with energy-efficient lighting* and window replacements
  • Install solar energy panels for long-term savings*
  • Energy-saving management systems

Prop. 1 invests in strong neighborhood schools across Tacoma that benefit our entire community with dedicated community meeting space for PTAs and other organization and access to playfields for youth and adult sports and youth partnerships with organizations like the YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, Metro Parks, Tacoma Creates and others for recreation, summer, and after-school programs.

Vote yes on Prop. 1 on February 11, 2020!