“School funding for nurses more important than ever”

Highline Public Schools is seeking renewal of Prop. 1 on Nov. 2 to continue funding for critical staff, student supports and student opportunities;

Every Friday, when Michelle Jervis, BSN, RN, checks in on students at Des Moines Elementary School, she also administers medication to Lucy Stuller at 1:30 p.m. on the dot.

Lucy’s mom Morgan Stuller says, “Being the parent of a child with a life-threatening allergy and with the need for daily medication, it is so important to me to know that the nurse is there and available for my daughter.”

Jervis, who is also Highline’s assistant director of health services, says the role of the school nurse is more critical than ever. “We provide medical care to students, but we also are the front-line COVID responders for schools. With our growing list of responsibilities, school funding for nurses is more important than ever.”

Nurses are just one of the many critical staffing positions funded through Highline Public Schools’ local education levy, which is up for renewal on November 2. The state funds just three nurses for Highline’s 35 schools. The levy funds 16.

If renewed by Highline voters, these local dollars will pay for ongoing education expenses not fully funded by the state or federal government. This includes staff positions, such as teachers, instructional assistants, nurses and social workers and academic support, including Advanced Placement and other college credit courses.

“The levy helps us fill the gap between what the state funds and what our students and our schools really need every day,” says Chief Financial Officer Kate Davis.

If approved on Nov. 2, the levy would continue funding for:

    • Counselors and social workers to support students’ social-emotional needs
    • School nurses keep students healthy and serve those with life-threatening conditions.
    • Student opportunities, like athletics, art, music and extracurricular activities
    • Support and training for teachers and instructional assistants
    • Advanced course offerings to give all students equitable opportunities

The levy is not a new tax. It renews an expiring levy. Visit highlineschools.org/levy to learn more, read the tax rate charts and see if your questions are answered in the FAQs.

If you have further questions, please contact the Communications Office at 206-631-3002 or email communication@highlineschools.org.

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