School Programs and Operations Replacement Levy
The Board of Directors of Hockinson School District No. 98 adopted Resolution No. 21-22-02, concerning a proposition to continue funding current school programs and operations. This proposition would authorize the District to levy the following excess taxes, replacing an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District, for school programs and operations expenses not funded by the State (including extracurricular activities, athletics, technology, advanced courses, music, nursing, transportation, special education and student safety):
|Estimated Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value
Hockinson is a community that is stronger together. The HSD is the district that families move to for the best schools in Clark County; let’s continue that tradition of excellence. The HSD Replacement Levy ensures our students will receive the quality education, extracurricular opportunities and services that define our community.
State and federal funds do not fully offset the costs associated with school services for students, such as counselors, nurses, recess aides, coaches, and custodians. Passing this levy provides for smaller class sizes, building maintenance, security, and transportation. Levy funds continue support for special education, social emotional learning, technology, advanced courses, and learning support programs. Additionally, extracurricular activities have a strong correlation with student engagement and academic success. Supporting this levy will provide access to music, athletics, theater, and a wide range of clubs and activities for our students. If this levy fails, many programs will be cut and our students won’t have the same opportunities as others who came before them.
At $1.89/$1,000 assessed value this 4-year replacement levy fills gaps while maintaining the second-lowest levy rate in Clark County. The HSD Board remained fiscally responsible to their promise of not raising your levied dollars even though they’re authorized to take more.
Voting Yes isn’t about anything else except providing our students what they deserve. Students need more than the bare minimum; they need our support to thrive with a high-quality education that prepares for a lifetime of success. Vote Yes! For information visit forhockschools.com.
Even if you support schools, there are good reasons to reject this 17 million dollar school levy. You should vote No until the District proves it is financially responsible. District decisions have been questionable. For example, the 2018 teacher’s strike resulted in 25% increases in pay. The Board also set aside more than a million dollars, the union took it. Do you really believe the new Board will resist union demands? There’s more. The Covid related Esser fund money is unaccounted for. The Superintendent thinks the District should consider providing food and shelter to students. All of this in the face of uninspiring test scores. Finally, there is no guarantee the District will fund the identified programs you are voting for. Under Washington law the Board can set a different course after the vote.
Voting “yes” lets the State evade its Constitutional obligation to fund schools. Because the State pays on a monthly basis per student, when students leave, the District loses money. Fixed costs for “basic education” remain and State money won’t be enough. But your taxes won’t decline. You pay based on property value, not on the number of students. What do you expect happens to athletics, band, art, and school nurse when State ”basic education” money stops?
You have a right to have your money spent wisely. In an election the action should match the sales pitch. Will it? Moreover, what kind of District holds the band and school nurse hostage? One that deserves a No vote.
- The election department only allows 250 words for the Pro/Con. It’s hard to provide details and context.
- If you look closely at the wording you will note that most of the money goes not to primary education but to support programs including extracurricular activities. Should those participating in those activities pay the costs or should all taxpayers pay them?
- We are in a period of hyper inflation. Property taxes are skyrocketing. Gasoline, meat and other products and services are through the roof. What can you afford to pay?
- Consider reading the article in this link: https://swweducation.org?p=5825 Does more money solve problems?
- With approximately 2,000 students the district has/is received about $495 per student in 1x “Esser” funds (you can see the details in this link: https://swweducation.org?p=7223 ) which works out to about $990,000. We requested a breakdown of the use of the funds several times but never got a response. So we’re talking almost $1 million which could have reduced their “ask”.
- Finally, over 52% of all property taxes go to schools in Washington State and they keep rising with out of control property values. Can you afford this?
Hockinson is a great community. Quality education is is paramount. However, is this extra money needed or is it a nice to have. But can you afford it?