Facts about the educational programs and operations levy

Local voters last approved the district’s educational programs and operations levy in November 2021. The current levy replaced the previous levy that expired at the end of 2021 and continues to fund essential student programs and services at a lower projected tax rate.

The four-year levy will collect the following amounts:

  • $26,750,000 in 2022
  • $28,200,000 in 2023
  • $29,650,000 in 2024
  • $31,100,000 in 2025

The total amount collected cannot increase over the four-year period.

The impact on individual property owners will depend on the increase or decrease in assessed values and the amount of growth in the area.

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 and emotional learning and support
  • Building maintenance
  • Elective and Advanced Placement classes
  • Textbooks and curricula
  • Arts, athletics and 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.

Educational support

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

Building maintenance and operations

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

Student learning and activities

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

Special education services

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

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 the number of positions that the state funds versus the number of positions that the local levy funds. 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 advisers supervise student sports and activities outside the classroom.0178*
Counselors support students' social and emotional well-being.21.152.85
*Number of staff contracts that support athletics, clubs and after-school activities.

Lowest K-12 tax rate in Clark County

Battle Ground has one of the lowest tax rates of all K-12 districts in Clark County.

School property tax rates within Clark County

School districtEP&O levyTechnology levyBondCapital levyTotal local bond & levy*
Evergreen Public Schools$1.59$0.39$1.59N/A$3.57
Washougal School District$1.85$0.20
$1.43N/A$3.48
Camas School District$1.79$0.39$1.18N/A$3.36
Vancouver Public Schools$1.99$0.28$1.09N/A$3.36
La Center School District$1.31N/A$1.67N/A
$2.98
Hockinson School District$1.61N/A$1.34N/A$2.95
Ridgefield Public Schools$1.47N/A$1.06N/A$2.53
Green Mountain K-8 School District**$1.79N/AN/AN/A$1.79
Battle Ground Public Schools$1.65N/AN/A (expired at end of 2023)N/A (collection to begin in 2025)$1.65
Woodland Public SchoolsN/AN/A$1.15N/A$1.15
*These rates do not include the state schools property tax rate ($2.26 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2024).
**Green Mountain serves K-8 students only.

Frequently asked questions

The four-year levy will collect the following amounts:

  • $26.8 million in 2022
  • $28.2 million in 2023
  • $29.7 million in 2024
  • $31.1 million in 2025

The district cannot collect more than these amounts over the four-year period. The tax rate for the levy was projected to be $1.99 per $1,000 of assessed property value for all four years. 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.

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.

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 sets student-to-staff ratios based on a study completed in 1975. Education is vastly different 45 years later, but the funding formula 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 at the end of December 2023 and will drop off of property tax bills in 2024.

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