2020-2022 Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy Fact Sheet
What is an Educational Programs and Operations Levy?
Educational Programs and Operations Levies are locally approved funds that pay the difference between what state and federal governments provide and the actual cost of the educational programs the La Center School District provides. This Levy was previously known as a “Maintenance and Operations” levy and now is also sometimes referred to as an “Enrichment” levy. The current Levy approved in 2016 will expire at the end of 2019 and requires voter re-approval in order for it to continue.
When is the vote and how much is being requested?
On February 12, 2019 (via mail-in ballots), the La Center School District will ask the voters for approval of a three-year Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy for the following amounts:
Levy Ask (limited to $1.50 per $1000)
Why does the yearly levy ask change, but the cost per thousand remains constant?
This is due to the estimated growth in total assessed value of property within the school district over the three years of the levy. This growth is forecasted based on anticipated new construction within the district as well as conservative property value adjustments. By law, the district may collect the voter-approved dollar amount, so long as that amount does not exceed the levy limitation set by the Legislature calculated using actual assessed value growth. Therefore, if the expected assessed value growth does not occur as anticipated, our commitment is not to exceed the levy limitation set by the Legislature (currently $1.50 per thousand of assessed value).
In order to be eligible for levy equalization dollars from the state, the district must be sure to collect the full amount authorized by the Legislature (currently $1.50 per $1000 in assessed value). Since the property assessments for the district are estimations, the district must be sure to ask for sufficient levy dollars to cover the $1.50/$1000—underestimating will result in the loss of state levy equalization dollars. Regardless of the valuations, the district will not collect more than the maximum amount authorized by the Legislature (currently $1.50 per $1000).
If approved, when will this replacement Enrichment Levy begin?
Collection would begin in 2020 and run through 2022.
What are Educational Programs and Operations Levy Funds used for?
The levy fills the gap between what state and federal governments provide and local patrons expect. Examples of where levy funds provide additional support include curriculum material adoptions, staff development, transportation services, utility costs, maintenance of school facilities, etc. These local funds also completely support activities that have no state or federal support such as co-curricular and extra-curricular activities (i.e. class field trips, Knowledge Bowl, drama, and all sports teams) as well as stipends for coaches, club and class advisors, etc.
In 2019-20 we project to collect $1,917,514 in levy dollars. Due to funding shortfalls, we anticipate the following expenditures will be finalized in the 2019-20 budget by the school board:
- Extra-curricular activities $325,000 16.95%
- Technology $280,000 14.60%
- Food Service $270,000 14.08%
- Transportation $140,000 7.3%
- Maintenance Dept. $400,000 20.86%
- Business office $180,000 9.39%
- Staffing Costs $300,000 15.65%
- CTE $26,000 1.36%
- Music $20,000 1.04%
Percentage indicates the amount of collected levy dollars to be spent on each category.
Is there a difference between the current Educational Programs and Operations Levy and this replacement Levy?
Yes. Due to the changes enacted by the legislature as a result of the McCleary fix, every district in the state has a levy cap of $1.50 per $1000 of assessed value. This is in contrast to the current 2018 levy rate of 2.58 per $1000 (the Bond Levy is an additional $1.28).
Can senior citizens on limited budgets get exemptions?
Senior citizens and disabled persons may qualify for certain tax exemptions. Contact the Clark County Assessor’s office at 360-397-2391 to see if you qualify.
Where can I get more information on the Educational Programs and Operations Levy?
You can call the district office at 360-263-2131 any time during regular business hours (M-F 7:30-4pm), or you may contact any of your school board members.