At its 11/29 Regular Meeting, the Hockinson School Board approved an Educational Programs & Operations Levy for the Feb. 8, 2022 ballot.
Here is a LINK to the article "Hockinson School Board approves replacement levy proposal for February vote" which appeared on ClarkCountyToday.com on December 1, 2021. A transcript of that article is below:
Hockinson School Board approves replacement levy proposal for February vote
Posted by ClarkCountyToday.com
If approved, the levy would replace the district’s current levy, which is set to expire at the end of 2022
At its Nov. 29 Regular Board Meeting, the members of the Hockinson School Board voted to approve (4-0) an Educational Programs and Operation (EP&O) levy resolution. The decision places the proposed four-year levy on the Feb. 8, 2022 special election ballot.
If approved, the levy would replace the district’s current levy, which is set to expire at the end of 2022. This replacement levy would help support the district’s ability to continue important programs and services for students.
For three consecutive years, the Hockinson School District has made reductions in an attempt to balance its budget. This has resulted in operating at levels that are not sustainable to meet the expectations of our students and community. For this reason, the Hockinson School Board is asking the community to approve a four-year replacement levy at a rate of $1.89 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The levy makes up roughly 10 percent of the overall Hockinson School District budget and helps to bridge the gap between what the state of Washington funds and the actual cost of operating a school district.
If passed, levy dollars would enable Hockinson schools to continue to offer important educational programs and services not funded or underfunded by the state of Washington, including:
• Extracurricular activities, including all clubs and athletics
• Co-curricular activities such as band and theater
• Health and safety services such as school nurses and custodial and security staff
• Transportation for students and
• Special education services for students with special needs
“After an extremely challenging few years dealing with the COVID pandemic, extracurricular activities are in some cases the main thing that keeps students engaged in school,” said Board
President Patrick Carter. “A loss of local levy funding would limit our District’s ability to offer the breadth of educational opportunities and experiences our students and community expect and deserve.”
In recent years the state of Washington has taken additional steps to fund more elements of basic education. However, school funding still falls short. Locally-approved enrichment levies bridge the gap between what the state of Washington funds and the actual cost of providing students with a well-rounded education. Levies cover critical programs, services and staff costs either partially funded or not funded by the state.
“There is a belief that the state fully funds public schools and that is simply not the case,” said Steve Marshall, Hockinson School District superintendent. “Local levies are essential in providing things like athletics, theater, band, clubs, transportation, adequate nursing staff, and special education. Without local levy support these opportunities and services would not be available to our students.”
Additional information on the upcoming levy will be available on the Hockinson School District website (www.hocksd.org) and community voters will receive an informational mailer in January 2022.