Centralia School District Levy- April 25, 2023
On April 25, 2023, voters will be asked to consider a replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O). This funding helps provide the kind of education that prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow.
This is not a new tax.
Centralia School District is asking voters to consider a two year replacement levy at $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value for each of the two years, which is the same as the current levy tax rate.
Your levy dollars support crucial school services and programs not covered under state basic education funding. This accounts for about 11% of the district's overall budget.
If approved, this levy will continue to support:
- Safety programs, security officers, school nurses, counselors, and mental health specialists
- Performing arts such as band, choir, orchestra, and theater programs
- Field trips, student travel, athletics, and related activities
- Local support to bridge gaps in Special Education, English Language Learners, Highly Capable, and Transportation Programs
- Additional teaching staff to help reduce class size and split classes
The levy provides 11% of the district's budget. Loss of local levy funds means tough choices and would require the district to make cuts to student programs and services that could result in:
- Significant cuts or elimination of programs like sports, band, choir, orchestra, and theater
- Larger class sizes, split classes, and staff reductions
- Fewer social emotional support for students and fewer mental health specialists and counselors
- Fewer support staff like school nurses, health room aids, and security officers
- Cuts to programs partially funded by levy dollars: Special Education, English Language Learners, Highly Capable and Transportation Programs
Centralia, like nearly every other school district in the state of Washington, relies on a mix of federal, state, and local funds to operate schools. All of these funding streams come with very specific spending criteria and reporting requirements. The proposed two-year EP&O levy must be designated and reported to the state to be spent in non-basic education categories.
Levy funds are spent for the direct benefit of students. This efficient use of public funds ensures students receive individualized learning support, social-emotional guidance and growth, and access and opportunities to a variety of educational experiences.
Doesn't the state pay for education?
Although the state of Washington has taken on more responsibility for paying for basic education, there are still funding gaps. This is why locally-approved levies are still authorized.