Washougal School District plans to renew levies

Board has not decided on amount or programs it will fund

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The Washougal School District will seek to renew its maintenance and operations, and technology levies next year.

“It is very clear the Legislature is not going to fully fund schools,” said Blaine Peterson, School Board president. “We’ll have to figure out the best way to get funding to our kids.”

The School Board will wait until the Legislature approves a budget to decide whether to renew the levies at current levels, or ask voters for an increase.

“We will seek to replace the levy, we just don’t know how much yet,” Peterson said.

Washougal School District voters approved a $20.4 million, 4-year maintenance and operations levy, and $1 million technology levy in 2010.

The district is not sure whether it will make the levy for three or four years at this point, or specifically, what programs the money will fund.

The current maintenance and operations levy helps pay for sports programs, drama productions, textbooks, school safety, special education, community education, transportation and more.

The technology levy helps fund computers in classrooms and labs, document cameras, tablets, teacher instructional technology and internet services.

“I have visited several businesses in town and even though they’re down (financially) they are still very interested in supporting a levy renewal and understand its importance,” said Ron Dinius, board vice-president. “We will have to caution ourselves when we set the levy amount so that it is something that will (continue to) be supported.”