These are the proposed replacement levies you’ll find on your Feb. election ballot
MEAD, Wash. — School districts in Spokane County are relying on the community to help them better students’ education with levies in the upcoming February 9th election.
Ballots are now starting to hit mailboxes.
The Mead School District is one of a few in Spokane County asking for a replacement levy. That means the taxes the Mead community pays for schools would go up slightly if passed.
“I can’t even imagine what the school district would look like without these funds,” said Mead Superintendent Shawn Woodward.
The levy would fund many extracurricular activities and more class courses, such as music and advanced placement classes.
The money would also pay for more staff.
“For a district our size, we have a little over 10,000 [students],” said Woodward. “The state provides funding for only 1.5 nurses. Our levy actually funds 15 additional nurses. As you can see, the state funding is just not adequate for the number of students that we have.”
So, how much is Mead asking for?
Voters are currently paying $1.46 per $1,000 of assessed value.
So, for a home that costs $300,000, you’d be paying $600 a year ($50 a month).
The Mead School District did ask for a supplemental levy in the fall of 2019, however that failed. Woodward said he heard from parents and the community about how the $2.50 per $1,000 assessed value back then was too much. This time around, they lowered it by 50 cents.
Some may question the timing of these levies, as we go through a pandemic and many are struggling financially.
Woodward says they’ve been listening to parents even before the pandemic. However, one thing that was wanted the most was in-person learning.
“We were one of the few school districts in the state of Washington to do so at such an early time. One thing I’m really excited about as superintendent is we’ve been able to pull this off with an incredible partnership with our families and our community,” Woodward said. “It was a very complex massive effort to remain open.”
Woodward added the plans they want to accomplish with this levy are also on track to what parents have wanted for their kids in the district.
That would include increase support for at-risk students, more mental health support and a bigger emphasis for career-track courses for students.
“Mead is pretty well known for our college track. Our community is saying, ‘Hey, we’d like you to bolster that career track as well.’ This is really reflective of what our community is asking for,” he said.
That’s just the Mead School District. Cheney Public Schools, the West Valley School District, and the Central Valley School District are all pursuing levies, too.
In fact, Cheney schools are actually pursuing two levies. One would be a replacement for educational programs and operations.
If passed, that would cost $1.65 per $1,000 of assessed value.
The second replacement levy would be for technology, safety and security. It would be 10 cents per $1,000 assessed value.
The West Valley School District is also pursuing two of the same levies. The educations programs levy would be at $2.50 per $1,000 assessed value. The replacement capital projects levy, which would help with technology, safety and security, would be $1.45 per $1,000 assessed value.
The Central Valley School District is pursuing one school programs levy. If passed, it would cost a taxpayer $2.40 per $1,000 assessed value.
These are just a few of the levies proposed in eastern Washington.
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