Opinion

CK school district officials ask for levy support

February 11 is an important day for Central Kitsap School District.

Voters will decide on the renewal of our School Support Levy, which is 20 percent of our budget.

A levy is a way for local communities to supplement state funding.

At one time, levies provided “extras,” above and beyond basic education. But that’s not the case anymore.

Our state does not fully fund public education. Today, our levy provides support in nearly every area of our day-to-day operations.

In fact, 95 percent of all school districts in our state are currently collecting school support levies. These funds help bridge the gap between the state and federal funding they receive and what it actually costs to run a district.

Here in Central Kitsap School District, the levy helps pay for things like activities and athletics, all day kindergarten, arts and drama, elective courses, libraries, music, small class sizes, special education, teachers and staff, technology, textbooks and instructional materials, and transportation.

In short, the levy allows us to provide a well-rounded, quality education for our students. The type of education our community expects.

The school support levy is a big portion of our budget. But it also makes us eligible for extra state and federal money. For example, the first year of the replacement levy is $20.8 million in local revenue. Based on that, we can receive an additional $3 million in state funds and $6 million in federal funds.

It’s also important to note that this is not a new tax. It is a renewal of the school support levy voters approved in 2010.

That levy will expire next year. The 2014 school support levy measure on the February ballot will replace, not add to, the school support levy currently in place.

Central Kitsap residents have a history of strong support for public education. Why? Because they know that strong public schools are the foundation of a vibrant, successful community.

We’ve had a school support levy in place for the past 20 years and are grateful for our community’s consistent support. This levy proposal is an opportunity for our community to protect its investment in education.

We encourage you to learn more about the CKSD School Support Levy by visiting our website at www.CKSD.wednet.edu. Please remember to vote by Tuesday, February 11.

Column submitted by Superintendent Hazel Bauman and School Board President Mark Gaines

 

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