‘Replacement’ measures fund vital programs
Both Methow Valley School District levies on the February special election ballot are continuing to pass by wide margins, as of the second round of returns reported Friday (Feb. 14).
Proposition 1 has drawn 1,491 “yes” votes to 655 “no” votes, giving it an approval rate of 69.48%. Proposition 2 has 1,477 “yes” votes to 669 “no” votes, collecting a similar approval rating of 68.83%.
“It’s with a deep sense of gratitude, appreciation, and humility that I wish to thank our community … for their strong support of our schools,” said Tom Venable, Methow Valley School District superintendent, in an email. “Our community’s long history of successfully passing its bonds and levies is a clear indication of the high level of trust that exists between our schools and community.”
The two property tax levies will provide $11.7 million in funding to the Methow Valley School District over the next four years, starting in 2021. The new levies will cost home and property owners, on average, $2.33 per $1,000 of property valuation a year.
Making up 22% of the district’s budget, the levies will fund general education and technology. And will be replacing existing levies that will expire in 2020.
The Education Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy will collect $8.3 million; starting at $2 million in 2021 and adds $50,000 each year over the next four. The EP&O levy provides for smaller class sizes, books and instructional materials and professional development for staff, as well as paying for enrichment programs including music, arts and world-language; early childhood education; and facilities and school bus maintenance.
While the technology levy will collect $3.5 million over four years at a rate of $850,000 per year. It will pay for programs in science, technology, engineering, arts and math, and for career and technical education. It will also fund technology for teaching, research and communications; adaptive technology for students with special needs, and education about the safe use of the internet and social media; computer maintenance, ADA-accessible entrances, and safety and security systems in the school buildings.
With approximately 100 votes left to count, the election results finalized and certified by Friday (Feb. 21), according to the Okanogan County Auditor’s office.