Ballots for the Lake Stevens School District levies are due by Tuesday, Feb. 9. Here are some of the FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) in regards to both the Maintenance and Operations levy and the Technology levy.
*Lake Schools Levy Facts
A four-year Maintenance and Operations Levy, and a four-year Technology Levy are proposed in the ballot which voters received last week. Ballots must be mailed to the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office by Tuesday, February 9 in order to be counted.
*What does the M & O Levy provide for?
Important to know: The proposed Maintenance and Operations (M & O) Levy is a replacement of the current levy, which expires in 2010. This levy will go into effect Jan. 1, 2011.
Here’s a look at what the M & O Levy pays for~
82% - pays for teacher’s salaries, paraeducators and instructional support
4% - supports student athletics and activities
11% - supports student transportation
1% - pays for technology licensing
1% - pays for additional costs of maintenance of schools and facilities
1% - pays for the expenses and upkeep of the pool and community services
Fact: The M & O Levy provides 20 percent of the funding for the district’s annual general fund budget. In Lake Stevens, 82 percent of Levy funds go directly to support teacher and classroom support.
How do levies work?
By law, Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levies can only be proposed for a maximum of four years. Similar to a magazine subscription, the levy expires after the designated amount of time and must be renewed by voter to continue to provide program support
*What is the difference between a Bond and a Levy?
A bond is financed over a long period of time, generally 15 to 20 years and provides funding for capital building projects—similar to a mortgage paying for building and property.
Fact: By law bond funds cannot be used for the day-to-day operations of a district.
A levy is collected over a short period of time – generally two to six years. They provide support for the day-to day operations and teaching needs of schools.
An easy way to remember the difference is to know that Bonds are for Buildings, and Levies are for Learning.
*Tell me about the cost.
In 2006 voters approved a replacement levy at an estimated cost of $3.14 per thousand of assessed valuation. In 2010 the projected rate is expected to be $2.87 per thousand of assessed valuation.
The replacement levy for 2011-2014 is structured to remain stable at $2.87 per thousand of assessed valuation. Typically the rate fluctuates by a few cents up or down during the course of the four years.
On a property assessed at $200,000 the rate per year is $574 or $47.83 per month. This replacement levy is estimated to cost 27 cents less per thousand of assessed valuation than the previous levy.
The levy is structured to generate an average of $12.4 million per year in support of the day-to-day operations of the district; this represents approximately 20% of the general fund operating budget.
*Technology Levy Facts
Fact: For Students to be successful in today’s world and work environment technology must be integrated into teaching, learning and assessment.
Fact: Lake Stevens School’s have been able to keep up with new technology at new and modernized schools. Standardization of technology equipment is now necessary across all classrooms.
Fact: With professional development tuned to technology integration, teachers design engaging and imaginative learning experiences that meet academic standards and stimulate student learning.
*What will the Technology Levy provide for?
Standardization of equipment in all classrooms
Staff training for integrated teaching
A five-year computer replacement schedule
Fiber optic technology
*What will the Technology Levy cost?
The $1.5 million dollar levy per year is estimated to cost 36 cents per thousand of assessed valuation.
The annual cost for property assessed at $200,000 = $72.00 per year or $6 per month.
Are there Tax Exemptions?
Yes. If you are 62 years of age or older, or disabled, you may be eligible for an exemption if your income is limited. For more information please contact the County Assessor at 425-388-3433.
Lake Schools – A source of Pride!
Lake Stevens High Schools have the highest on-time graduation rate in the county—a full 10 percent higher than our neighbors.
North Lake Middle School, Glenwood Elementary and Sunnycrest Elementary schools have all been designated Schools of Distinction by the state for their test score improvement over time.
Lake Stevens High School is proud to have 94 Advanced Placement Scholars over the past four years, and 10 National Merit Commended and Finalist Students.
Our high school students’ SAT scores exceed national average in all testing categories. Our students exceed state average in 19 out of 20 categories as measured by the WASL test.
Go to www.lkstevens.wednet.edu
for more information.