Frequently Asked Questions
How much funding will the levy generate for schools?
The Edmonds School District would be allowed to collect the following maximum for each of the four years:
The actual levy will be the lower of voter authorization, the per pupil amount for the calendar year, or any subsequent legislative action.
Isn’t the State “fully funding” education? Why is a levy still needed?
We see continued shortfalls between “full State funding” and actual costs for programs and services. This levy pays for programs and services important to our community that are not funded or not fully funded by the State. Replacement of the District’s expiring 2018 School Programs and Operations Levy will continue our present level of programs and services. The law requires that levies be renewed by voters.
The Education Levy is the district’s second largest revenue source and represents roughly 15% of the budgeted general fund. The state provides funding for most teachers, but levy dollars increase critical staffing roles like nurses, counselors, teaching assistants, technology support staff, and custodians. Plus it provides funding for essential Special Education services that are not funded by the state or federal government. Levies also provide the essential funding for elective classes and enrichment programs like STEM, International Baccalaureate, Highly Capable, College in the High School and Advanced Placement courses. Extracurricular programs in our district such as art, drama, music and sports are all paid for by the local levy.
How is this measure different from the capital levy approved by voters in 2021?
In April 2021, the Edmonds School District community voted to approve a six-year, $180 million capital levy by 56.65 percent of the vote. The capital levy allows us to make necessary improvements to preserve buildings; increase safety, security & accessibility; address capacity challenges; and, replace old schools well past their lifespan.
The capital levy did not replace the Education Levy, which funds other critical academic, emotional, health and safety needs, including additional teachers, instructional aides and other staff, like counselors and social workers, not fully funded by the state.
What happens if property values increase?
If property values go up, the tax rate is adjusted downward. The school district cannot collect more than the amount approved by voters. Increases in property values do not generate more revenue for the school district.
I thought the state eliminated the need for local levies?
The state Legislature increased state property taxes in 2018 with the intent of lowering the local portion of school taxes, not eliminating them. Here is why the state’s property tax is not a perfect solution:
The state money must be spent in very specific ways. Those restrictions eliminate much of our local control for programs our community wants in schools.
- Some districts can ask voters for more money per student than others. This is not an equitable solution because some districts will generate more funding than others.
- The state is not covering the full cost of staff pay and benefits, special education, transportation, teacher training, counselors and social workers, school nurses, and other critical needs.
How can I get additional information on the levy?
Please contact the Communications department at 425-431-7045, or firstname.lastname@example.org.