Facts about the replacement levy

Educational Programs and Operations Levy

The district’s levy that was put before voters on Feb. 9 failed to pass. The board has discussed taking some time to gather community input on funding as it relates to educational programs, services and activities in Battle Ground Public Schools. Please watch for more information.

Checkmark Maintains educational programs and services the state doesn’t cover

Checkmark NOT a new tax

Checkmark LOWER than the current tax rate

Checkmark Four-year levy: 2022–2025

Levy dollars are the difference

Levy dollars make up the difference between what the state provides for basic K-12 education and what it actually costs to provide students with options that prepare them for today’s careers.

The levy funds essential student programs and services:

  • Technology
  • Teachers, support and administrative staffing
  • Social-emotional learning and support
  • Building maintenance
  • Elective and Advanced Placement classes
  • Textbooks and curricula
  • Arts, Athletics, After-school activities
  • Special education services
  • Security and communications

NOT a new tax rate

This is not a new tax. If approved, it will replace the levy that expires at the end of 2021, and will continue to fund essential student programs and services at a lower projected tax rate.

LOWER tax rate

The rate in 2022 is projected to be 22% less than the 2020 tax rate. The projected rate over the four years is: $1.95 in 2022 and $2.20 in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

The four-year levy will raise: $24,920,065 in 2022, $29,239,544 in 2023, $30,409,125 in 2024, and $31,625,490 in 2025. While the rate is projected to stay flat in 2024 and 2025, 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.

 Rainy Day imageRainy day funds provide relief

The district is planning to dip into its rainy day reserve fund in at least the first year of the levy to offset the drop in taxes.

Seeing that the pandemic has had economic implications for many families, the directors decided that providing relief to the Battle Ground schools community would be a good use of some of the district’s reserve funds.

Lower levy rate

The levy enriches basic education

Levy dollars are pooled with state funds to pay for programs and services that provide opportunities beyond basic education. The levy enables the district to supply technology to students, offer a variety of electives, maintain facilities, and provide staff that enhance learning experiences and coach athletics and activities. (Costs based on the 2020-21 estimated budget.)

$14.2 million Educational support

  • Staff
  • Transportation and crossing guards
  • Music and art
  • Elective classes
  • Health services
  • Drug prevention education
  • Professional development
  • Substitutes

$5.1 million Building maintenance and operations

  • Asset preservation
  • Grounds and building maintenance
  • Custodial supplies and equipment
  • Facilities improvements
  • Utilities and insurance

$4.15 million Student learning and activities

  • Athletics and after-school activities
  • Coaches and Advisors
  • Textbooks and curricula
  • Social-emotional learning
  • AP programs
  • Highly Capable (Aspire program)

$3.6 million Special Education services

  • Special education teachers
  • Special education assistants
  • Instructional materials and supplies

$1.9 million Technology, security and communications

  • Educational technology equipment and staff
  • Security equipment and staff
  • Websites, calling software, communications staff

The levy provides staff to support 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 provides an additional 260 positions above what the state funds. 

This chart shows examples of positions that the levy funds in 2019-20, based on the prototypical school model. It is not inclusive of all levy-funded positions.

PositionState fundsLevy funds
Nurses ensure student's medical needs are met during the school day.1.719.65
Psychologists help students perform better academically by providing counseling and special education services.0.3416.66
Additional Certificated Staff help keep class sizes small.501.520.4
Students have said they feel safer knowing security personnel monitor their campus.2.045.66
Technical Services Staff run software and network systems, support students and train staff on technology.6.159.05
Teaching Assistants support students in class, at recess, at lunch, before school and at release time.1931.5
Assistant Principals help in areas of positive behavior, attendance and staff support.30.658.35
Athletic Coaches and Advisors supervise student sports and activities outside the classroom.0178*
Counselors support students' social-emotional well-being.21.152.85
*Number of staff contracts that support athletics, clubs and after-school activities.

One Levy

Battle Ground schools empower students to reach their potential in innovative ways that make the most of educational dollars. While other districts have multiple levies to pay for technology, capital projects, transportation and educational programs, Battle Ground has just one levy that covers all essential programs.

Checkmark The 2019 graduation rates of our comprehensive high schools are higher than the state average by more than 6 percentage points

Checkmark The district offers a variety of programs to suit every student: traditional school, a rigorous academy, and online and at-home learning options!

Checkmark The district’s 1:1 initiative has equipped every student with a computing device, and internet access for those who need it during remote learning.

Lowest K-12 tax rate in Clark County

Battle Ground already has the lowest tax rate of all K-12 districts in Clark County, and the rate is projected to be even lower in 2022.

2020 School Property Tax Rates within Clark County

School DistrictEP&O LevyTechnology LevyBondCapital LevyTotal Local Bond & Levy*
Battle Ground Public Schools$2.32$0.56**$2.88
Ridgefield Public Schools$1.50$1.68$3.18
Hockinson School District$1.50$1.77$3.27
Vancouver Public Schools$2.01$0.33$1.37$3.71
Evergreen Public Schools$1.72$0.42$1.76$3.90
Woodland Public Schools$2.36$1.56$3.92
La Center School District$1.50$2.65$4.15
Washougal School District$2.18$1.85$0.25$4.29
Camas School District$2.50$0.27$1.97$4.74
Green Mountain K-8 School District***$1.72$1.19$2.92
*These rates do not include the State Schools property tax rate ($2.94 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2021).
**BGPS current bond expires December 2023.
***Green Mountain serves K-8 students only. 9-12 typically attend BGHS.

Election Information

Clark County voter registration information is online at https://clark.wa.gov/elections/registering-vote. Residents can register to vote online up to 29 days before Election Day or in person up to 8 days before Election Day.

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 (564) 397-2391 for details.

Frequently Asked Questions

During the pandemic, the district has been able to reduce some expenditures, but other costs have increased. For example, while the district has saved some money on transportation and utilities, it has spent significantly more on technology and training for remote learning, personal protective equipment during small group and kindergarten learning, and online curricula and materials. The district has spent $650,000 so far in 2020-21 to provide internet access to 9% of its students so they can continue learning and participate in virtual classes at home.

The levy provides 14% of the district’s total budget. If it doesn’t pass, the district will have to cut $14,000,000 from the 2021-2022 budget, and would have to make additional cuts in 2022-2023. No decisions have been made about which programs, classes or services would be cut.

School funding is a work in progress. In 2018, after the McCleary decision, state legislators changed property taxes with the intent of fully funding basic education and lowering local school taxes, NOT eliminating local school levies. The state increased what it collects in property taxes for basic education statewide, and capped what school districts can collect locally. As a result, Battle Ground’s levy rate decreased from $3.45 in 2018 to $2.50 in 2020.

There are several areas of education that the state does not fully fund as part of basic education. Examples include technology, special education services, social-emotional learning, building maintenance, elective classes and AP programs, and athletics and student activities. Districts are left to figure out how to pay for these services and programs on their own.

Additionally, the state does not fund all the staff necessary to provide essential services and programs to students. The state’s funding formula for K–12 education, called the Prototypical School Funding Model, sets student-to-staff ratios based on a study completed in 1975. Education is vastly different 45 years later, but the Prototypical School Funding Model has not been updated to account for modern educational needs.

Yes, the district is required by law to provide services that the state does not fund. For example, the levy pays for about $3.6 million in special education services. In another example, the district also must cover the cost of state-mandated health benefits that are not fully funded by the state.

Some seniors and disabled homeowners may be eligible for a property tax exemption based on income. Please contact the Clark County Assessor’s Office at (360) 397-2391 or taxreduction@clark.wa.gov. Online: https://clark.wa.gov/assessor/property-tax-relief-programs.

In general, levies provide for learning, maintenance and operations and bonds go to construct buildings. Battle Ground voters last approved a bond in 2005 to finance the construction of several new schools, additions and improvements.

During the pandemic, the district has been able to reduce some expenditures, but other costs have increased. For example, while the district has saved some money on transportation and utilities, it has spent significantly more on technology and training for remote learning, personal protective equipment, and online curricula and materials.

GET IN TOUCH

icon 11104 N.E. 149th Street,
Brush Prairie, WA 98606

iconP.O. Box 200
Battle Ground, WA 98604

icon(360)885-5300

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