Vote ‘yes’ on school district levies

According to the Clark County Elections office, ballots will be mailed on Saturday for the upcoming Feb. 14 special election.

The issues that will be decided by voters are few, but important.

The Camas School District and the Washougal School District are asking for support for technology levies and maintenance and operations levies. These replace the current levies set to expire at the end of 2017.

Over the years, these local school districts have proven that they are consistently providing high quality educations that are the envy of others around the state. This, of course, is due to many factors including quality teachers and classified staff, strong leadership at the elected board level, active and involved parents, and students who are challenged and engaged.

An essential driving factor in being able to maintain quality schools is also voters’ continued support for these levies, which provide money to fill the gap between state funding and actual costs. These dollars amount to 20 percent of the funding needed to support local schools.

For the 2017 special election, Washougal has put three-year $23.2 million replacement M&O and $2.4 million technology levies on the ballot. Proposed M&O levy rates will cost taxpayers $2.91 per $1,000 of assessed value. Proposed technology levy rates will cost 30 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The Camas School District is asking voters to approve four-year $67.4 million M&O and $7.1 million technology levies. Proposed M&O levy rates will be approximately $3.06 per $1,000 of assessed value. The technology levy rate is 32 cents per $1,000.

Without maintenance and operations levy dollars, programs like special education services; activities including athletics, band, drama, academic teams; and teacher training, maintenance, utilities and curriculum materials wouldn’t be possible.

Meanwhile, technology levies support critical items including Wi-Fi, networks, servers and devices used by students in nearly all classrooms at all grade levels.

These levy dollars help ensure students receive a complete, high quality education. It allows the districts to provide youth a solid foundation, making sure they are well-prepared for wherever life takes them.