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Schools levy request goes to voters

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The Hockinson School Board of Direc­tors has approved two requests that will go before the community on the Feb. 12, 2019, ballot. They are a Replacement School Programs & Operations Levy and a new Capital Levy for Technology & School Improvements.

Local levies enable school districts to cov­er expenses for educational programs and services, and athletic and academic extra­curricular offerings that are not funded, or are not fully funded, by the state.

These needs include transportation, spe­cial education and extra staffing, includ­ing some of our teaching staff and support personnel (such as nursing and security), which the state partly funds.

In 2018, the state increased school fund­ing to districts statewide, but it decreased districts’ ability to collect local levies. So, although in 2016 Hockinson voters ap­proved a local levy that would have pro­vided $5 million for the school district in 2019, HSD is now allowed to collect only $2.4 million in 2019. Why? Hockinson voters had agreed in the 2016 election to pay $3.94 per $1,000 assessed proper­ty value in 2019, but new state law limits school districts to collect only $1.50 per $1,000 AV, beginning in 2019.

In 2012, Hockinson voters approved a capital/technology levy to improve in­structional technology and complete a few other projects in the district. The district did not request a similar levy in 2016, be­cause the bond that was used to build the Middle School and update the High School enabled some technology upgrades. Some of the district’s other instructional tech­nology now needs a refresher.

If approved, the two three-year levies proposed on the February ballot will cost $1.50 per $1,000 AV for the SP&O levy. The T&SI levy will cost $0.45 per $1,000 AV in 2020, $0.40 per $1,000 AV in 2021 and $0.36 per $1,000 AV in 2022.

More in­formation will be posted on the district website in the coming days and weeks, and a levy information mailer will arrive in district residents' mailboxes in January.

From HSD’s “Education Matters” Winter 2018-19 newsletter.

For more information, please see our 2019 levy information page.

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