LAKEWOOD – Voters will decide on two replacement levies Feb. 11 for the Lakewood School District.
The levies are for educational programs and operations, and technology and capital improvements. The current levies expire at the end of 2020. The EP&O levy pays the difference between the actual cost and what the state provides. The cost is around $2.15 per $1,000 valuation for the years 2021-24, or $645 a year on a $300,000 home.
Athletics, clubs, music, drama, mental-health and social-emotional supports, school safety and more are funded by this measure.
The technical and capital improvements levy pays for things like computer upgrades and replacements; audio, video and digital tools; and security upgrades such as cameras, fencing and electronic access systems. Cost is expected to remain at 27 cents per $1,000 valuation for the next four years, or $71 on that same $300,000 home.
Voters also will be asked to approve increased collections on an already approved levy passed in 2016. Voters are paying $1.50 per $1,000 on that measure, but the district is asking for $2.18. The previous amount was set under the McCleary decision, but the state legislature has since OK’d districts trying for more because state funds have not brought in enough in many smaller districts.
“The tax rollback still left a funding gap for Lakewood and many other school districts trying to maintain existing programs and services,” superintendent Scott Peacock said in an opinion piece in The Marysville Globe. “Our district is also reducing spending and leveraging state/federal grants to address this funding gap.”