Vancouver Sch. Dist.
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News Release
VPS will put two replacement levies on the February 2019 ballot - 11/14/18

Vancouver Public Schools’ board of directors authorized two replacement levies for the Feb. 12, 2019, ballot. The district’s education and operations levy (formerly called the maintenance and operations levy) and the technology levy both expire in 2019. The board unanimously approved the resolutions at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Replacement levy for education and operations
The replacement levy for education and operations would provide funding for schools for four years: 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. A local levy has been in place in Vancouver Public Schools for more than 50 years (since 1964).

Earlier this year, Washington legislators developed a state budget to meet the requirements of the Supreme Court (McCleary v. State) decision. As a result, the state increased its schools levy rate and redistributed the money across all Washington school districts.

In 2018, local district levy rates were not affected. However, in 2019, the state will maintain its schools levy rate, and local district levy rates will be scaled back to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Even after the new state funding as a result of McCleary decision, the state still only funds approximately 78 percent of the district’s general fund budget. The local levies are necessary to make up ongoing gaps in financial support for services and priorities designated by the Vancouver community. 

“As a teacher for more than 35 years, I know that levy dollars are crucial to our students, classrooms and schools,” said Board President Rosemary Fryer. “If approved, these levies will help ensure Vancouver students are prepared for the future.”

At the capped amount of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value, local levy dollars make up about 12 percent of the district’s general fund budget. The education and operations levy pays for classroom supplies, textbooks and equipment; school safety and security; maintenance of buildings and grounds; teachers and support staff; classroom programs; extended day/year learning; education for students with special needs; extracurricular activities and intramural sports; and utilities, insurance and fuel.

The district is requesting authorization of approximately $32.8 million for collection in 2020, $35.4 million for collection in 2021, $38.2 million for collection in 2022 and $41.3 million for collection in 2023.

On a median-priced home of $334,000, the replacement levy for education and operations will cost $501 in 2020 (based on the levy rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value). The rate for 2018 was $2.64 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

Replacement levy for technology
The replacement levy for technology, which voters approved in 2013, would provide funding for 2020 through 2025. The technology levy would help prepare students to enter the workforce. It would fund technology that supports students’ creativity, innovation and problem-solving. Technology levy dollars would provide training for teachers so that they can educate students on the skills required for success in their future careers. The levy also would maintain or renew iPads and laptop computers for all students in third through 12th grades.

The estimated cost for the technology levy is approximately $0.31 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy would collect approximately $7 million in 2020, $7.4 million in 2021, $8 million in 2022, $8.4 million in 2023, $8.8 million in 2024 and $9.3 million in 2025.

On a median-priced home of $334,000, the replacement technology levy will cost $103.54 in 2020 (based on the levy rate of $0.31 per $1,000 of assessed property value).

The education and operations levy must pass for the technology levy to pass.

For more information, go to the VPS website.