Jeff Lucas says economic factors for the Eatonville School District are difficult, but he’ll continue as a School Board member to support efforts to maintain a quality education for students.
Lucas is running unopposed in the general election to remain on the board, which he originally was appointed to in 2012.
He has been a firefighter/paramedic with East Pierce Fire and Rescue since 2000. He and his wife, a former teacher, have two children.
Although he hasn’t had to campaign because he virtually assured of election, Lucas was asked by The Dispatch to identify one to three issues he feels strongest about and to describe how he’ll address them as a board member. Here’s his reply:
“When asked to comment on issues affecting our school district, I believe the biggest issue is our declining enrollment and the declining dollars and resources that go with it.
“People have been leaving our school district for several years now. You can’t argue with economic conditions. Jobs are harder to come by in our area, people spend more on gas, spend more time commuting. Moving closer to the cities alleviates a lot of that. With each child goes state funding, which is the lion’s share of our budget. With the money goes teachers, programs, supplies and many of the supports our schools need.
“Our schools are doing a great job with what we have, and the community has steadfastly supported its schools for many years. We need more support from our state legislators who control the checkbook. I don’t think throwing money at things is automatically going to fix things, but it’s no secret that our Legislature is not adequately funding our education system.
“I don’t have an easy or quick fix for these problems. I don’t think our population is going to increase any time soon. I don’t think the Legislature is going to step up with the funding our schools need. Something all of us can do is to call, write or e-mail our legislators and tell them to fulfill their paramount duty to amply fund education. School boards around the state are making that argument, but the voices of thousands of voters carry a lot of persuasion in Olympia.
“I will continue to support the work of all our school employees, who are doing great things. I will continue to try to inform as many people as I can about the state of our education system. I will continue to work with our legislators to make our schools as great as they can be. Please be as involved as you can with our schools. They are an important part of our community, as the people of the community are an important part of our schools.”