February 2017 Replacement Levy Information
The Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors recently approved a resolution to put a replacement levy before voters on the Feb. 14, 2017 ballot. This Educational Programs, Maintenance and Operations (M & O) levy is not a new tax. It will replace the school district's current levy, which provides about 23 percent of the district's total operating budget and expires at the end of 2017.
Get more information at one of three Levy Information Nights
Levy Dollars are the Difference
Levy dollars make up the difference between what the state provides for K-12 education and what it costs to operate schools while providing a quality learning environment. The district's current maintenance and operations levy expires December 31, 2017.
The levy allows educational programs and facility services to continue at a level that provides an education focused on every child's emotional and academic well-being and enables students to engage in quality learning environments.
The below Tax Rate Chart shows the proposed M&O tax rate and levy dollars collected. If approved by voters, the four-year levy will raise: $31,680,000 in 2018, $33,260,000 in 2019, $34,930,000 in 2020, and $36,670,000 in 2021. The tax rate for the levy is projected to stay the same as the 2016 levy rate. While the rate is projected to stay flat, the proposed levy would generate additional total funds for the district each year. The actual impact on property owners will depend on the increase or decrease in assessed value. The total amount of the levy collected cannot increase even if the district's assessed value increases.
What does the levy provide for students?
Much of what the levy pays for is people. People are key to providing a quality education and getting students the support they need in both academics and social-emotional learning. Battle Ground's levy helps keep class sizes small by providing an additional 260 teachers and school and district support staff above what the state funds. Teachers lead classes and programs and classified staff provide educational and administrative support in multiple areas, from health services and safety to office staff and maintenance.
Click the chart to enlarge:
- School Psychologists - Students perform better academically if their social-emotional needs are met
- Nurses - The state pays for less than two nurses for 18 schools. Levy funds allow us to keep 12 full-time nurses on staff to provide on-site medical care to students
- Security - Many students and parents have said they feel safer knowing security personnel monitor their campus
- Teaching assistants - Support students in the classroom, at recess, during lunch, before school and at release time
- Technology Services - BGPS is launching a 1:1 initiative so that every student has equal access to technology
- Maintenance/Grounds/Custodial/Warehouse - With 18 schools in the district, keeping our campuses well maintained and adequately clean is a huge undertaking. Levy funds enable BGPS to hire enough staff to keep up with the constant demand
- Principals & Assistant Principals - The levy provides for assistant principals who help in areas of positive behavior, attendance and staff support
- Other certificated staff - Class size is important to BGPS, and these 92 staff allow the district to have some of the smallest class sizes in the region, providing a more effective, individualized learning environment
Below are just some of the examples of what the levy funds:
- About 25 percent of teachers, support and administrative staff
- Small class sizes
- Art, music, drama
- Textbooks and curricula
- After-School Activities
- School psychologists and counselors
- Security and communications
- Professional Development
- Building maintenance
Where are levy dollars spent?
Levy dollars are pooled with state funds to help pay for basic services that provide a quality education. The levy enables the district to keep class sizes small, maintain facilities, supply technology resources to students, and provide for staff that enhance security, learning experiences and after-school activities.
The levy provides basic educational supports that the state does not fund, including textbooks and curricula, professional development, transportation, and building maintenance. It also pays for health services, music and art classes, after-school activities, drug prevention education, instructional technology, building security, education for students with special needs, utilities, and insurance.
Local funding provides the difference between what the state pays for and what it actually costs to operate schools. In Washington, 97 percent of the 295 school districts rely on levy money to provide important student programs and services.
The election will be February 14 with ballots available January 27. Clark County voter registration information is online at https://www.clark.wa.gov/elections/voter-registration. Residents can register to vote online up to 29 days before Election Day or in person up to 8 days before Election Day.
NOTE: Some senior and disabled homeowners may be eligible for a property tax exemption, based on income. Please call the Clark County Assessor's Office at (360) 397-2391 for details.
District administrators and board members are available to answer questions and share additional details about the replacement levy. To schedule an informative presentation for your community organization or civic club, please call the district office at (360) 885-5300.