At its regular meeting on Tuesday, November 26, the Washougal School District (WSD) Board of Directors approved two levies — a replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EPO) and a replacement Technology Levy to be placed on the February 11, 2020 ballot.
The levies would replace the current levies, which are set to expire December 31, 2020.
The Educational Programs and Operations Levy funds services and operations not funded by state or federal funding. These services include: health and safety; instructional support; athletics, musical after school activities, coding club (and other enrichment activities); student learning and staffing; security personnel; and operations and maintenance.
Levy dollars cover innovation projects, such as a Strings (orchestra) program. They could also cover a dual language immersion program.
The proposed Educational Programs and Operations Levy rates are projected to remain flat over the next three years (2021, 2022, and 2023) at $2.14 per $1,000 of assessed value (is projected on assessed value growth). They levy is projected to collect $7,392,656 in the first year of collection, $7,984,068 in 2022, and $8,622,793 in 2023.
“What was right for our district was also right for Camas School District,” said Dr. Mary Templeton, Superintendent of Washougal School District. “The Levy provides the funding that allows our district to invest in students, gives us capacity to innovate, and ensures we keep programs that let us nurture and challenge all students so that students rise every day. We are just trying to restore the pre-McCleary dollars that voters agreed to.
“We think the $2.14 allows us to grow and stay fiscally responsible. We think this investment that the local dollar makes in that is critical. This all lines up with our vision statement. We value the dollars that we get greatly, and we don’t want to collect one more dollar that we need knowing we must be responsible and efficient.”
Technology Levy dollars pay for the district’s 1:1 initiative, up-to-date computers and devices, classroom instructional technology, professional development and coaching, technology infrastructure and staffing, and curriculum and software.
“We’ve been very successful with the use of technology,” Templeton said. “We’ve see great student achievement with how we’re using tech in the classroom. We are, of course, hoping voters will support these efforts in the district. We do appreciate the opportunity to let the voters know this investment will support our children to be prepared for college. What you need to know as you graduate into the world has change significantly in the last 10-15 years.”
The proposed Technology Levy rates are projected to decline over the three years of the levy, with the rate per $1,000 of assessed value at $0.25 in 2021, $0.24 in 2022, and $0.22 in 2023. The Technology levy is projected to collect $845,000 in the first year of collection, $870,000 in 2022, and $898,000 in 2023.
For more information about the levies, visit the WSD website: www.washougal.k12.wa.us