With ballots in the mail this week, the Edmonds School District is asking voters to support a measure in February that, if approved, would continue to fund various staff positions and school programs.
Last November, the Edmonds School District Board of Trustees voted to include levy in the election on February 8. The measure would replace existing educational programs and operating tax.
According to district staff, the proposed levy is intended to fill the gap and cover staff and program costs for all schools that are not fully funded by the state or federal government. Superintendent Gustavo Balderas said the levy is the district’s second-largest source of revenue and accounts for about 15% of the budgeted general fund. If approved, it will renew funding for four years, until 2026.
“This levy allows the school district to continue to provide a high-quality education and provide exceptional opportunities for all students so they can be lifelong learners and responsible global citizens,” said Balderas.
The proposed levy would renew the expiring levy of $1.49 per $1,000 of assessed property value that voters approved in 2018. District leaders stressed that the levy is not a new tax and would maintain a rate of constant taxation of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value as part of taxes to be collected beginning in 2023. If the levy is not passed, district officials said it could result in significant reductions in the staff, programs and services for students.
If approved by voters, the levy would fund several staffing positions, including school nurses, counselors, teaching assistants, technical support staff and custodians. For example, a informational video uploaded Friday explained that the district receive enough state funding to pay for three school nurses, while the tax covers the cost of approximately 13 nurses.
The levy would also pay for electives and enrichment courses and programs such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), International Baccalaureate, Highly Capable, College in the High School and advanced placement courses. Extra-curricular programs such as art, drama, music, and sports are also funded by the license fee.
The replacement levy requires a simple majority to pass.
–By Cody Sexton