Impact of additional school funding could prove pivotal

It didn’t come with a whole lot of fanfare, but on Tuesday night something pretty important happened in Washougal — something likely to have a significant impact on youth and the greater community for years to come.

On Feb. 11, voters approved the Washougal School District’s maintenance and operations and technology levies. As of press deadlines, the technology levy is passing with 62 percent support and the M & O levy with 59 percent.

The M & O and technology levies aren’t anything new in Washougal — voters have been supporting them for quite some time. What made this year different was a significant increase in the amount being asked for by the Washougal School District.

The new M&O levy that will begin in January 2015 is set at $6.3 million — 23 percent more than the current $5.09 million levy. The technology levy will be set at $700,000 beginning in January 2015 — a 180 percent increase from the current $250,000 levy.

The money from these levies will do several things, most notably put tablet computers into the hands of all students in kindergarten through 12th grade, support all-day kindergarten throughout the district starting in September 2014, make possible safety improvements including increased security staff and improved physical safety at all schools, and help keep class sizes at a level that benefits teachers and students.

During the past decade, thanks to strong leadership and community support, Washougal schools have made steady improvements, both academically and structurally, and this additional voter-approved funding has the potential to further increase student learning and achievement for years to come.

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