2020 EP&O Levy and 2020 Capital Levy
February 2020 Election Results:
Educational Programs & Operations Levy: passed
Capital Maintenance Levy: failed
Dear Yakima School District family,
A six-month strategic planning process with students, staff, families, and external partners to reimagine district priorities will soon be approved by the Yakima School Board. This highly collaborative process confirms the commitment that our community has in the success of our students, as, thanks to the Yakima Community, the Yakima School District (YSD) will now have long-term goals and short-term indicators for the next several years. This example of business partners, clergy, students, staff, and parent unity is a testament to the investment that the community takes in the success of students. The following are five of the goals from this process:
- The Early Years - Developing a Strong Foundation: Every student will acquire social and emotional skills, academic curiosity, and cognitive development in PK-3 literacy and numeracy necessary to prepare them for success.
- All Students - Empowered, Connected, Supported, Resilient, Engaged: Every student will develop habits and behaviors that elevate student voice, resilience, and personal ownership in safe, caring, and supportive environments.
- Equitable Opportunity to Achieve Core Mastery & Critical Thinking: Every student will be empowered to own their education, meet or exceed standards, be critical and creative thinkers, seek solutions and be advocates for racial and social justice.
- Bilingual, Bilerate by Graduation: Every student will have the opportunity to become culturally competent, academically successful, and prepared for the global job market in two or more languages.
- Persistence Through Graduation and Beyond: Every student will successfully navigate the critical transitions in their schooling and will graduate from high school prepared for college, career, and post-secondary experiences.
In order to accomplish these bold goals, the Yakima School District depends on the local community to fund critical education programs and services through local levies. Despite attempted legislative improvements to the way education is funded in Washington State, the essential educational elements on which students and families rely are not fully funded. YSD works hard to support schools as efficiently as possible, and administrative spending at the district recently recognized as the leanest among Yakima County school districts. Fortunately, funding from local levies bridges the gap between what the state funds and the true cost of operating a school district.
The Yakima School District has the following two essential funding measures on the February 2020 ballot to replace the expiring levy:
- a replacement educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy, and
- a capital improvement and technology levy.
The EP&O levy is not a new tax, but rather it is a continuation of the current levy, which expires in 2020. Continued support of this levy is vitally important to continue essential programs for students to remain intact and available. Without this levy, things like extracurricular activities, International Baccalaureate (IB) and Advanced Placement (AP) classes, social-emotional learning, special education, technology instruction, and health & safety resources would suffer catastrophic reductions, ultimately negatively impacting the quality of education that we provide to our students.
Yakima residents live here because of the excellent quality of life. Part of maintaining this exceptional quality of life is our tradition of supporting our schools so that young people can grow, learn and stay in Yakima. A voter-approved EP&O levy generates between $17 and $20 million in state support each year, more than doubling our local investment in our schools. The $17-20 million per year is only available through community support through the passing of this EP&O levy. The EP&O levy and the state assistance funds it generates make up about ten percent of the YSD budget.
Another important measure, a four-year Capital & Technology levy, is also on the ballot this February. The Capital & Tech levy is a small levy that would help us maintain district facilities and technology equipment across the district and renew crucial technology contracts.
Levy rates under the proposed EP&O replacement levy are estimated to remain at the state statute of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value for all four years. Levy rates under the proposed Capital & Tech levy are estimated to remain $0.54 per $1,000 of assessed property value for all four years. Together, the total local EP&O and Capital & Tech levy rates are estimated to be $3.04 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This $3.04 per $1,000 is the same total that was requested by the District and passed by the community in the last levy.
Seniors and disabled community members who meet certain income requirements may be exempt from part of all of the local levy tax. For more information or to find out if you qualify, contact the Yakima County Assessor’s Office at 509-574-1100.
Election ballots are due to arrive in your mail on January 24 with voting due by February 11, 2020. More information is available online at www.YakimaSchools.org/levy
Yakima School District
The current Maintenance and Operations Levy (now called an Educational Programs & Operations Levy) will expire at the end of 2020.
The Levy Advisory Committee made a proposal to the Yakima School Board on November 4, 2019, which they accepted, passing two levy resolutions on November 19, 2019.
Two levies will be on the ballot for February 11, 2020. Please see the publication below for more information.
Click here for Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
11-19-19 School Board Meeting Excerpt; YEA President Steve McKenna
Levy vs Bond
The Yakima School District, according to PDC guidelines, can only share factual information regarding the levy.
Should you want to serve on the Yes for Yakima Kids Committee, please contact the chairs, Aileen and Brenden Monahan, at email@example.com