Camas school levies will appear on February ballots

Replacement levies would fund maintenance and operations and technology

Replacement levies would fund maintenance and operations and technology

Camas voters will be asked to approve the replacement of two expiring school levies in early 2013.

At its Nov. 13 regular meeting, the Camas School Board unanimously approved resolutions to place a replacement maintenance and operations levy and a replacement technology levy on the Feb. 12 ballot.

“Our community in Camas has always had an incredible focus on education, and I’m incredibly grateful,” said Doug Quinn, school board member. “I feel obligated to make sure we maintain that high mark.”

The proposed four-year M & O levy would replace the current levy set to expire at the end of 2013. The district is seeking authorization of $11.45 million, $11.8 million, $12.2 million and $12.75 million over the following four years.

The M & O levy funds teaching and support positions; textbooks and curriculum materials; student safety; grounds, maintenance and utility costs; extra-curricular activities; special education support; technology support; professional development and training; and school library supplies.

“It augments transportation, books, supports special education and all of the clubs like Science Olympiad and the robotics club,” Quinn said. “It also helps us keep class sizes down.”

According to Mike Nerland, district superintendent, the M & O levy represents 20 percent of the district’s budget, and bridges the gap between state funding and what it actually costs to operate schools.

“Losing that funding would have a dramatic impact in many ways including class sizes, course offerings, curriculum adoptions, music/library/technology staffing, and extracurricular programs such as drama, band, choir, athletics, etc.,” he said. “The quality and number of educational opportunities our students now experience, both in the classroom and through extracurricular programming, would be substantially reduced.”

The proposed four-year technology levy would replace the current levy also set to expire in 2013. If approved, the levy would collect between $1.28 and $1.35 million each year over the following four years.

The technology levy pays for hardware, software, and infrastructure related to the district’s network.

In January, every patron of the Camas School District will receive a publication with detailed information about both replacement levies. There will also be information available on the district’s website, www.camas.wednet.edu.