Facts about the replacement levy

Educational Programs and Operations Levy

The district’s Board of Directors voted unanimously in July to put a replacement levy before voters in the November 2, 2021 General Election. The levy was put before voters on February 9, but it failed to pass.

Levy flyer

Checkmark NOT a new tax

Checkmark LOWER tax rate

Checkmark Continues essential student programs and services the state doesn’t fund

Checkmark Four-year levy: 2022–2025

Levy totals and rates

CheckmarkNOT a new tax

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

CheckmarkLOWER tax rate

The rate will be less than the 2021 tax rate. The projected rate over the four years is: $1.99.

The four-year levy will raise: $26,750,000 in 2022, $28,200,000 in 2023, $29,650,000 in 2024, and $31,100,000 in 2025. While the rate is projected to stay flat, the district will bring in fewer local funds in the first two years of the levy, with a small increase in additional total funds for the district in 2024 and 2025. 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.

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.

Levy Rate drop illustration

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

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 graduation rates of our comprehensive high schools have been historically higher than the state average. (See Student Data below.)

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.

2021 School Property Tax Rates within Clark County

School DistrictEP&O LevyTechnology LevyBondCapital LevyTotal Local Bond & Levy*
Camas School District$2.30$0.50$1.58$4.38
Washougal School District$2.15$1.74$0.23$4.13
La Center School District$1.50$2.43$3.93
Evergreen Public Schools$1.70$0.41$1.68$3.79
Woodland Public Schools$2.32$1.41$3.73
Vancouver Public Schools$1.97$0.32$1.30$3.59
Hockinson School District$1.50$1.71$3.21
Green Mountain K-8 School District***$1.90$1.19$3.10
Ridgefield Public Schools$1.49$1.51$3.00
Battle Ground Public Schools$1.96$0.52**$2.48
*These rates do not include the State Schools property tax rate ($2.73 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2022).
**BGPS current bond expires December 2023.
***Green Mountain serves K-8 students only. 9-12 typically attend BGHS.

Student Data

Graduation Rates

Summit View High School is Battle Ground Public School’s alternative learning high school for students who need a flexible option that gives them the opportunity to work independently and at their own pace. The school helps students who typically are behind in credits the opportunity to earn their high school diploma. The program is unique and is sought even by students coming from outside the district.

Election Information

Register online by Oct. 25. Residents can register to vote online up to 29 days before Election Day or in person up to 8 days before Election Day. Clark County voter registration information is online at https://clark.wa.gov/elections/registering-vote.

Property tax exemptions available. 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

Yes, however, it failed to pass and is critical to continuing essential programs.

This is not a new tax. It will replace the levy that expires at the end of 2021 at a lower rate, and will allow current essential programs and services to continue. Levies do not pay for new school construction.

No. The current levy expires Dec. 31, 2021. The proposed levy would replace the current levy so that the two would NOT be collected at the same time. The proposed levy will allow the district to maintain current student programs and services that the state does not fund or provide sufficient funding for.

If approved by voters, the four-year levy will raise: $26.8 million in 2022, $28.2 million in 2023, $29.7 million in 2024, and $31.1 million in 2025. The district can never collect more than these amounts, even if the district’s assessed value increases. The tax rate for the levy is projected to be $1.99 for all four years, which is less than the 2021 rate of $2.32, which has total collections of $28.3 million. 

A property assessed at $450,000, for example, would pay $923 in taxes for this levy in 2022. The actual impact on property owners will depend on the increase or decrease in assessed value, as well as the amount of growth in the district from new homes.

The state does not fully fund the programs that are an essential part of student success in today’s world. In 2018, the state changed the way it funds public education by lowering local school taxes, NOT eliminating local school levies. The state authorizes school districts to levy up to $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for local control of student programs.

Levy equalization is money the state gives to “property-poor” school districts that approve levies. Battle Ground is a property-poor school district with little industry that usually has a higher assessed value than residential property. Levy equalization money goes only to school districts that pass a levy. Under the current levy, which expires in December 2021, Battle Ground Public Schools receives about $3 million in levy equalization each year.

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.

The levy provides 14% of the district’s budget. An annual loss of $28 million in local funding would require the district to make cuts to student programs and services that could result in:

  • Larger class sizes—staff reductions & furloughs
  • Increased time on buses & fewer routes
  • Loss of music, art, theater & academic extracurricular funding
  • Outdated textbooks & instructional materials
  • Limited technology
  • Fewer support staff—less assistance for technology, recess, school offices, custodial, grounds & more
  • Elimination of programs & fewer class choices
  • Fewer activities & sports with higher fees
  • Reduction in social emotional supports
  • Reduced supply & building budgets
  • Deferred building maintenance
  • Cuts from general education to reallocate funds for state-mandated
    programs such as special education.

After a double levy failure in the 1980s, the district had to eliminate middle school sports and give up its buses.

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.

How has the pandemic impacted the district’s budget?During the pandemic, the district has been able to reduce some expenditures, but other costs have increased. For example, while the district saved some money last year on transportation and utilities, it spent significantly more on personal protective equipment, technology and training for remote learning as well as online curricula and materials. It cost $650,000 in 2020-21 to provide internet access hotspots to 9% of students.

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 Advanced Placement 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.

Statewide, the average school district’s central administration costs equate to $949 per-student, per-year for 2019-20. In Battle Ground, that number is $726 per-student, per-year for 2020-21. (Source: OSPI) Central administration costs include salaries of district administrators AND support staff in human resources, payroll, benefits, and student services.

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. That bond will be paid in full in December 2023, so it will drop off property tax bills in 2024.


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