Camas School District voters pass replacement levies

With only about 200 ballots left to count in the Feb. 9 Special Election, Camas School District voters have passed two replacement levies that make up nearly 20 percent of the district’s overall funding.

As of Feb. 16, the district’s two, three-year replacement levies were passing by 52.87 percent and 55.65 percent, with a simple majority — 50 percent plus one vote of total votes cast — needed for approval.

The Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy, known as Proposition 4, which funds staff and programs not funded by state revenues — hiring teachers to help reduce Camas’ class sizes, offering extracurricular activities and athletics programs, and supplementing the district’s school special education programs, libraries, nursing staff and transportation and food services — is now passing 53.87 to 47.13 percent, with 5,574 “yes” votes to 4,969 “no” votes. On election night, this levy was passing by an even wider margin of 53.34 to 46.66 percent.

The Technology, Health and Safety capital levy (Proposition 5), which pays for things like technology for staff and students and building needs, including roofs, boilers and fire protection, is now passing by 55.65 to 44.35 percent, with 5,772 “yes” votes and 4,600 “no” votes. Like the EP&O levy, the technology-capital levy also was passing by a wider margin on election night, when the county still had about 5,000 ballots left to count.

The school district estimates the total Camas school tax rate (levies plus bonds) will remain at the 2021 level of $4.77 per $1,000 APV rate in 2022, 2023 and 2024 even with the passage of the EP&O and technology-capital levies, due to the school district’s capital improvement bond decreasing from $1.99 per $1,000 APV in 2021 to $1.73 per $1,000 in 2022-24.

The three-year EP&O levy will bring the district an additional $17.18 million in 2022, $17.69 million in 2023 and $18.22 million in 2024. The technology-capital levy will add $3.71 million in 2022, $3.82 million in 2023 and $3.94 million in 2024.

Voter turnout for the special election was around 39 percent. To view unofficial results from the Feb. 9 election, visit results.vote.wa.gov/results/20210209/clark.