Washougal School District considers levy renewal

Current technology, maintenance and operations levies expire in 2014

Current technology, maintenance and operations levies expire in 2014

The Washougal School District is considering whether to renew two levies, and increase the amount or leave it the same.

“Knowing the maintenance and operations of the district are supported by the levy, it’s not easy to back out of it,” said Dawn Tarzian, superintendent. “That’s why it’s critical to help the community understand how the money is being spent.”

The School Board plans to discuss the issue at a work session in early January, and make a final decision by the end of the month. They’ll also decide the length of the levy and program areas to target with the money.

Currently, the maintenance and operations levy is set at $5,092,000, and the technology levy is set at $250,000. Both are three-year levies, passed by voters in February 2011.

Tarzian mentioned that levy equalization funding is benefifical to Washougal. This is the money the state provides to “level the playing field” for districts that lack large commercial and industrial businesses to add to their community’s tax base. This allows the communities to get more bang for their buck, essentially.

“The state recognizes some communities are richer and others have fewer resources,” Tarzian said. “The state’s formula supports those communities.”

School Board member Karen Rubino said that a thorough assessment of what areas the levies support should be done first.

“There may be some other area that really needs the funding at this point. This would be a good way to start looking at it.”

The filing deadline for the February 2014 ballot is in December 2013.