2018 Replacement School Programs and Operations Levy
We want to sincerely thank our community for their ongoing support of our students and the work of our staff! I also want to thank the many individuals for their incredible efforts on this measure.
While the measure still needs to be certified by Snohomish County Elections, we are thankful that we can move forward to continue the great work underway while planning for a stronger tomorrow. We are committed to providing programs and services that ensures each and every student a quality education.
These are challenging times with many questions still remaining about the funding of public education. Our community’s belief in and ongoing support of their public schools is outstanding. We will continue to demonstrate that we are excellent stewards of our community’s resources. A heartfelt “thank you!”
Dr. Kristine McDuffy
The Edmonds School District is holding an election Tuesday, February 13, 2018, with an important measure on the ballot: a Replacement School Programs and Operations Levy. Below you will find more detailed information on this measure.
“This measure is not additional funding – it is what we need in order to continue to operate each day,” School Board Member Gary Noble said. “It directly supports the learning and teaching in each classroom across our District in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and unincorporated portions of south Snohomish County.”
The replacement levy directly funds classroom and support programs.
“The locally-funded levy is our second largest revenue source and remains critical to our success in supporting all students learning,” Superintendent Kris McDuffy said.
Board member Diana White added: “Our communities across the District are very supportive of its schools. The funding from this measure will allow us to continue our work in each school. We appreciate the public’s interest in learning more about this measure and encourage people to vote by February 13, 2018.”
Question and Answer
Why do communities have Local Programs and Operations Levies?
Levies pay for programs and services important to our community that are not funded or fully funded by the State. Replacement of the District’s expiring General Fund Maintenance and Operations Levy will continue our present level of programs and services. The law requires that levies be renewed by voters.
Isn’t the State “fully funding” education now? Why is a levy still needed?
We anticipate continued shortfalls between “full State funding” and actual costs for programs and services. Local levy funding supports special education, technology, curriculum, staff compensation and benefits, as well as ensures necessary staffing levels are met.
How will the District use the funds from renewal of the School Programs and Operations Levy?
School Programs and Operations Levy funds allow the District to provide local support for: additional teachers to help keep class sizes smaller; paraeducators and staff who support the educational program; safety and security personnel; textbooks and instructional materials; student transportation; athletics, music, drama and student clubs and activities; services for students with special needs; support programs, services and technology; staff training to improve teaching and student learning.
I hear the District's enrollment is dropping? Is this true?
There was a slight dip in our overall enrollment across kindergarten through grade 12 in the last year. However, for example, over the past 4 years the combined enrollment of Sherwood, Westgate, Edmonds and Seaview elementary schools have risen by 8.5 percent. Additionally, our enrollment projections for the next 5-10 years show this one year decline was an anomaly and we will see a steady increase in enrollment.
Why is there is a decrease in our proposed levy rate, from $2.37 to $1.50?
In June of 2017 the Legislature increased the amount of school funding to support schools across the State. To compensate for this increase in school funding, State property tax rates will increase and schools will be limited in the amount of support collected by local levies.
2018 Collection Year: $2.37 (actual levy rate per $1,000 assessed value)
2019 Collection Year: $1.50 (approx. levy rate per $1,000 assessed value)
2020 Collection Year: $1.50 (approx. levy rate per $1,000 assessed value)
2021 Collection Year: $1.50 (approx. levy rate per $1,000 assessed value)
2022 Collection Year: $1.50 (approx. levy rate per $1,000 assessed value)
When will this Replacement Levy start? What is the expiration date?
The Replacement Levy will run four years, beginning in January 2019 and expire in December 2022. This is not an additional or new tax levy.
The current four-year Levy expires in December 2018 and was approved by a supermajority of voters in February 2014.
When the Legislature fully funds basic education by the start of the 2019 school year, will we roll back our local levy?
Current law already places a limit on how much districts can collect in their local levies. If voters approve an amount greater than the limit, we are legally required to roll back our local levy collection to that statutory limit. Under the new Legislative House Bill (HB 2242), we are already rolling back our replacement levy to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, down from the current $2.37 per assessed value.
What is the difference between the State property tax and the actual revenue the District will receive? What is the simplest way to explain this change to the funding model?
Some people are referring to it as a “levy swap.” And here is the reason:
- The State school property tax rate is going up from $2.03 in calendar year 2017 to $2.85 in calendar year 2018, which is an increase of 40 percent - however;
- The State revenue is projected to go from 190.4 million in fiscal year 2017-18 to 221.4 million in fiscal year 2018-19, which is an increase of 16 percent.
- The District’s School Programs and Operations Levy property tax rate is going down from $2.37 in calendar year 2018 to $1.50 in calendar year 2019, which is a decrease of 37 percent.
- The District’s School Programs and Operations Levy revenue is projected to go from 67.9 million in fiscal year 2017-18 to 58.8 million in fiscal year 2018-19, which is a decrease of 13 percent.
The projected net revenue increase to our District is 7.8 percent when both State and local revenues are combined. What factors could reduce that increase in net revenue?
The projected net increase in revenue for fiscal years 2017-18 to 2018-19, including both State and local resources, could be as much as 21.8 million, which is an increase of 7.8 percent. However, it is unlikely the ultimate net increase in revenue will meet this projection, based on the following factors:
- These revenue figures are dependent on the District being able to maximize the State’s K-3 certificated teacher funding ratios.
- To maximize the State’s K-3 funding ratios, the District will need to hire approximately 80 additional certificated teachers to work specifically in grades K-3.
- If the District is unable to maximize the State’s K-3 funding ratio, due to unavailability of certificated teachers, these revenue figures will be reduced. (Certificated teacher unavailability is a Statewide issue.)
Is there a property tax exemption for senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans? What is a qualifying activity?
A property tax exemption is available to senior citizens, disabled persons and veterans who meet the following criteria:
“Taxpayers who are, on December 31 of the year before the taxes are due, at least 61 years of age or older; OR retired from regular gainful employment by reason of disability; OR a veteran of the armed forces of the United States entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veteran Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability.”
A qualifying activity is:
“Own and occupy a primary residence in the State of Washington and have combined disposable income of $35,000 or less. Beginning with 2016 property tax relief, the maximum allowable combined disposable income will increase to $40,000.”
What the Replacement Levy funds support ...
- Additional teachers to help keep class sizes smaller
- Paraeducators and staff who support the educational program
- Safety and security personnel
- Textbooks and instructional materials
- Student transportation
- Athletics, music, drama, and student clubs and activities
- Services for students with special needs
- Support for programs, services and technology
- Staff training to improve teaching and student learning
Proposition No. 1
Replacement School Programs and Operations Levy
The Board of Directors of Edmonds School District No. 15, serving the communities of Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and portions of unincorporated Snohomish County, adopted Resolution No. 17-62. This proposition would authorize the District to replace an expiring levy for support of the District’s General Fund educational programs and operations expenses, not fully funded by the State. This replacement levy Collection averages $62.75 million per year for each of the four years, 2019 through 2022.
The proposed rate of $1.50 per thousand of assessed valuation is a decrease from the current 2017 rate of $2.35 per thousand of assessed valuation.
Property Tax Exemption for Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons
On December 31 of the year before the tax is due, you must meet one of the following criteria: At least 61 years of age, unable to work because of a disability OR a veteran entitled to and receiving compensation from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs at a total disability rating for a service-connected disability. Your annual household disposable income may not exceed $40,000. If your household income is between $40,000 and $45,000, you may qualify for the deferral program.