Educational Programs & Operations Replacement Levy
VOTE BY February 11, 2020
Peninsula School District will place a three-year Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy on the ballot for the Feb. 11, 2020, special election, to replace an expiring levy approved by voters in 2016.
While the state of Washington passed legislation to fund basic education last year, not all education costs are fully funded. The district relies on local residents to regularly renew levies to fund critical areas, such as teachers and support staff, athletics and extracurricular activities, safety and security, professional development for staff, and preventative routine maintenance projects.
The replacement levy will provide funding to continue important programs, operations and support. This is not a new tax.
The levy continues our community’s investment in our students. This funding maintains essential funding beyond state basic education.
Teachers and support staff
- Staff to keep class sizes low per state mandates
- Teachers, front office and technology staff, paraeducators, custodians, nurses, counselors
- Professional development for staff
Music, art and athletics
- Music, art and performing arts beyond state basic education funding
- Athletics, activities, clubs and programs
- Extra-curricular transportation
- Programs beyond basic education—interventions for students who need extra help and Highly Capable programs for students who need additional challenge
- Special Education programs
- Advanced Placement (AP) classes
Safety and security
- Security enhancements at schools
- Security officers and safety support staff
- Emergency preparedness
Preventative routine maintenance projects
- Routine repair of furniture, equipment and vehicles
- HVAC support
- Upkeep of athletic/playfields
The district only collects up to the total amount approved by voters.
The total school tax rate is estimated to remain steady at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value over the three years.
Senior tax exemption
Low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities may qualify for exemption for property taxes. Additional information is available on the Pierce County website.
- The current levy will expire in 2020, so a new levy must be passed by voters to continue programs listed above.
- The levy accounts for 18% of the district’s annual budget.
- Athletics and extra-curricular activities are 100% funded by levy dollars.
- The levy is for a fixed dollar amount and the District cannot collect more money if property values increase.
- PSD has sound fiscal management that earns A+ ratings from auditors.
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Why does the district need an Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy?
The Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy funds programs and resources for students not fully funded by state basic funding, such as athletics and extra-curricular activities, support staff, nurses, counselors, safety and security, professional development for staff, special education, highly capable, routine repairs and much more.
How is this levy different from the capital bond we passed last February?
Levies are for learning and bonds are for building. The bond that was approved by voters last February can only be used to build schools. The Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy supports all other District programs and maintains essential funding beyond state basic education.
Isn't the state fully funding education?
The state Legislature has made progress in its efforts to fund education and meet the State Supreme Court's order to do so, but the state still only funds basic education, which accounts for 82% of our District’s budget. This levy funds the remaining essential 18% of our District’s budget.
What is the history regarding this type of levy?
Peninsula School District voters overwhelmingly approved the Continuing Educational Programs and Operations Levy in 2016, at 70.2%. The 2016 levy expires in December 2020, so the Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy will replace that expiring levy.
What is the tax rate, and why is it lower than the 2016 levy?
The State legislature has established guidelines for districts, lowering the local school tax burden and shifting that burden to the state. Districts may collect the lesser of either $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value or $2,500 per student. For our District, the applicable formula is $2,500 per student, which is estimated to be $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The $1.50 per $1,000 is lower than the levy we passed in 2016, which was on the ballot at $2.16 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy funds are essential to the operating budget for school districts across the state - this tax is not unique to Peninsula School District.
How are the levy funds used?
Levy funds ensure our District’s quality education programs continue in our schools and reflect our community’s investment in our students. Levy dollars provide for support beyond the state allocation for basic education including but not limited to: safety and security, early learning, special education, highly capable, music, nurses, counselors, teachers, support staff, transportation, preventative maintenance, athletics and activities and professional development for staff.
When will ballots be mailed?
Ballots will be mailed January 24, 2020. Ballots are due February 11, 2020.
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