Replacement of Expiring Levy for Educational Programs and Operations Communications

 

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Sunday Evening News

11/5/17

For decades, each school district in our state has needed to request money for schools from local levies. When I was a student in the Enumclaw School District, these levies occurred every two years. Because of the expense of elections to school districts (we have to use tax payer money in order to put an item on the ballot), the state has allowed school districts to extend the time period to four years. It is our goal to stay on the same election cycle as many of our neighboring school districts. The last passage of our four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy was in February 2014 with a replacement ballot measure coming in February 2018 (three months).

When the state legislature finalized their work on July 20, 2017 (three months ago), they had made some significant changes for how school districts must collect local money from a levy. These changes fall into two major categories:

Change #1: Amount of levies
The legislature has established guidelines for districts. The base guideline is districts collect the lower of either $1.50 per 1,000 of property value or $2,500 per student. For our school district the lesser is $1.50 per 1,000 of property value. The $1.50 per 1,000 is a significantly lower tax rate than the one we passed in 2014 which was on the ballot for $3.89 per 1,000 of property value.

If you are thinking how can we function at this lower local funding level, you asked the same question I did! :) The legislature has used other funding mechanisms at the state level (including raising property taxes....decided by their vote) to make up the difference decided by local voters. When the numbers are finalized we are hoping to be provided with additional funding than we were previously funded. The intent of the McCleary lawsuit, http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/HotTopics/
HotTopic-McCleary.pdf
was for an increase in money toward public education. Because of the complexity of these changes, we are still in the process of receiving this information from our local Puget Sound Educational Service District and OSPI.

Change #2: Name of levies:
The second change is in the title of the levy used by districts across our state. Instead of Maintenance and Operations Levy, it will now be called Educational Programs and Operations.

Having given you this global background, here are some key bits of information for each of you.

Levy Title: Educational Programs and Operations (The updated levy title is "Replacement Of Expiring Levy For Educational Programs And Operations".)

Date: February 13, 2018

Tax Rate: $1.50 per 1,000 of property value (significantly less than our measure in 2014)

Levy dollars provide for enrichment activities beyond the state allocation including but not limited to: reduced class size, early learning, special education, special programs, athletics & activities, security and professional development.

I will continue to provide you with information about this election for our school district. As a global reminder, we can only provide information about the levy to our families.

Until next week, Happy Learning!
Mike


 

Videos

Replacement Levy Information Video

 

Transcript
Mike Nelson, Superintendent
(Picture of ESD logo and Southwood students) We are the Enumclaw School District. Our mission statement is ensuring the equity of all student achieving at high levels. This February we are running a levy that is called Educational Programs and Operations.

Stephanie Berryhill, Director of Human Relations
(Picture of Thunder Mountain Middle School staff) Beginning with a visual of our staff -- our amazing staff who work hard with student to ensure the equity of all.

(Picture of Strategic plan) In addition, the Strategic Plan for 2017 and 2018, the Board of Directors along with the cabinet did equity training and have incorporated the word equity into our strategic plan.

Chris Beals, Deputy Superintendent
(Picture of arrows in a circle) This is a replacement levy that will be replacing the expiring Maintenance and Operations levy. It is not connected to our Technology levy and it is not connected to our bond. It's a separate measure replacing one that is expiring.

(Number 4) A four-year levy will be run alongside a number of other school districts who will also be running four-year levies for the same purpose. Election Day for this levy is February 13th.

(Picture of calendar with check mark on February 13, 2018) It is an all-mail in ballot, so ballots will drop in mailboxes about two and a half weeks before the Election Day, so around January 25th our patrons should begin seeing their ballots arrive in their mailbox.

Mike Nelson, Superintendent (Map of Washington state school districts) The Enumclaw School District is one of 295 school districts in the state of Washington. As was earlier mentioned, this levy is not unique to Enumclaw. All districts across our state will be running a similar levy to support the needs of their school district in order to meet the needs of all students.

(Picture of Washington state capitol building) The state Legislature has made some changes to how school districts run these levies. They have changed the name and they have also changed the amount in which school districts need to go out to their local taxpayers in order to support the schools.

(Bar graph showing decrease in tax amounts) Four years ago, we went out for a levy. The cost per $1000 of property value was $3.89. This levy election the cost per $100 is $1.50, a dramatic decrease in the amount.

Ed Hatzenbeler, Director of Business & Operations
(Picture of six quarters) Levies in the past have made up 24-28% of a school district's budget. Moving forward $1.50 per $1000 represents about 12% of our District's budget during the length of this levy. For an owner of a $400,000 home, that represents about $600 per year.

(Picture of video camera) Part of that money will go to safety and security. We have video cameras in each of our buildings. Those need to be replaced every approximately five to seven years. That will go to new cameras, replacement cameras, as well as fencing and other security needs.

Keri Marquand, Director of Student Services
(Artwork of special education services) As a school district we receive state and federal funding for our special education services and that is not sufficient to meet the needs of our very worthy children and excellent special education department.

(Picture of child) In addition, our levy funds our early intervention and preschool programs. We know in Enumclaw that early intervention is very cost effective, that $1 spent early on is worth many dollars spent later, and it's a high priority for us.

Jill Burnes, Director of Teaching and Learning
(Photo of student actor in Hamlet) In addition, these dollars are there to support kids in extracurricular activities, clubs -- things that connect kids to schools beyond the school day.

(Photo of football game) Our drama, intramurals, and in addition our athletic programs. These extra funds go for helping us to support kids beyond the school day as well as during the school day.

Ed Hatzenbeler, Director of Business & Operations
(Picture of bus front) We also rely on levy dollars for transportation. Transportation is only funded from the state of Washington to and from school outside of a one-mile radius. In order to keep students safe we often transport students within that mile radius because of busy roadways. In addition, transportation to athletic events and extracurricular activities and field trips is also supported by the levy.

Chris Beals, Deputy Superintendent
(Photo of staff training event) Professional development and staff training is another area that is supported by our levy dollars. These resources support training for staff and their work of supporting students across our system.

(Photo of website page) On our website, you can read this information and other information about our levy on the homepage of our website is a button front and center that will take you to this page that you see in this image that will find all this information as well as frequently asked questions about the levy.

Stephanie Berryhill, Director of Human Relations
(Picture of Southwood Elementary staff) And we want to conclude our presentation by book ending with our amazing staff. This is a visual representation of our staff and our students who support all.

(Picture of Westwood students) We have nearly 4000 students in the Enumclaw School District. Our goal is to be sure we are meeting the needs of each and every one of them and this levy will help us do that.


 

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