On Feb. 14, 2017, Camas residents will vote on two Camas School District levies: one for maintenance and operations (M&O), one for technology.
These are NOT new levies. They would replace, or continue, two levies expiring at the end of the 2017, with a slight rate increase to cover rising costs.
BENEFITS TO STUDENTS
- Staff for smaller class sizes
- Textbooks & curriculum materials
- Security staff and resource officer
- All extracurricular activities
- Library staff and materials
- Health room staff and programs
- AP, Hi-Cap & accelerated programs
- Special education staff and materials
- Technology support staff
- Professional development
- Grounds, maintenance, and utilities
IMPORTANCE OF FUNDING
Like all Washington school districts, Camas School District relies on local, voter-approved levy dollars to make up the difference between state funding and basic education costs. Levy dollars make up approximately 20% of Camas School District’s budget.
Camas voters passed a bond in 2016 to construct and improve district facilities. These replacement levies would continue funding for the teaching, learning, health, and safety that go on within their walls.
- For the first three years of the upcoming four-year levy cycle, Camas residents would pay an additional 6 cents per $1,000 of their assessed home value, for a total of $6.31 per $1,000 of assessed home value.
- For a $300,000 home, that equates to $1.50 more per month, or $18 per year.
- For a $500,000 home, that equates to $2.50 more per month or $30 per year.
- In the fourth year, 2021, residents would pay LESS than they pay today ($5.38 per $1,000 of assessed home value, compared to today’s $6.25) due to the District paying off bond debt.
- The proposed M&O levy would collect $16.1 million, $16.6 million, $17.1 million, and $17.6 million over the next four years.
- The proposed technology levy would collect $1.70, $1.75 million, $1.80 million, and $1.85 million over the next four years.
IMPORTANT: Although the rate per $1,000 of assessed value would rise $0.06 in 2018, by 2021 the total combined rate for all school taxes would BE LESS THAN VOTERS ARE PAYING today.
WHY THE 6-CENT INCREASE?
- Continued growth in enrollment, which increases operational costs, continues to outpace state funding.
- Start-up operational costs for the new Project-Based Learning Middle School Program, Lacamas Heights Elementary, and Project-Based Learning High School.
- An all-time high number of students in extracurricular programs, new participation opportunities, and the added expense of state-level competitions, based on the tremendous success of our extracurricular programs.
- Rising curriculum, supply, labor, student health and safety, and insurance costs.
WHY A FOUR-YEAR LEVY?
- Ensures stable funding for near future.
- Reduces election expenses.
- Helps avoid election fatigue.
COMMON $$$ QUESTIONS
- If assessed values increase, can the district collect more? NO
- If the district increases in assessed value over the next four years, will my cost per $1,000 increase? NO
- Can the levy amount be increased without a vote? NO
MORE INFORMATION TO COME
- A detailed brochure explaining the levies’ basis and benefits was mailed to all patrons on Jan. 27.
- Ballots were also mailed on Jan. 27, with Election Day on Feb. 14.
- District staff will attend staff and community meetings at all schools to present information about these funding measures.
- For more information, please call the superintendent’s office at 360.833.5412 or connect with the principal of your nearby elementary, middle, or high school. Each school’s contact information can be found under the Schools & Resources section of this website.
Watch the 6.5-minute presentation we’re sharing at community meetings.