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January 6, 2012 at 3:13 PM

16 minutes, 21 words cause pro-school funding argument to be taken off voters pamphlet

Some Federal Ways parents are upset that the argument in favor of providing more money to that city’s school district will not appear on next month’s voters pamphlet due to a technicality.

The Citizens for Federal Way Schools submitted its statement in favor of the district’s construction project levy 16 minutes too late and 21 words over the limit, according to officials. So it won’t appear on the voters pamphlet, which will appear inside the ballot.

“There are deadlines in place that everyone’s informed of and they’re there for really good reasons,” said Kim van Ekstrom, a spokeswoman for King County Elections, who noted her agency is working on a very tight time frame  to get 187,500 ballots to voters for the Feb. 14 election.

The deadline was 4:30 p.m. Tuesday and the word limit was 200 words.

Exceptions to the policy are made when possible — a separate statement in favor of Federal Way’s other education levy was accepted despite it also being submitted late — but the circumstances of the construction levy submission made an exception impossible, van Ekstrom said.

School officials said the technicality might make it less likely that voters will approve the 6-year, $60 million levy, which would go toward rebuilding Federal Way High School.

“I’m disappointed that both sides of the story, so to speak, are not being represented in the voters pamphlet, which we are paying to have printed and distributed,” said Sally McLean,  assistant superintendent of  business services at Federal Way Public Schools.

The 200-word con statement will appear on the voters pamphlet, and the pro side will get 75 words to make a rebuttal.

Comments | More in Education | Topics: election, Federal Way Public Schools, school levy

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