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    Renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O)

    Seattle Public Schools is asking Seattle voters to consider renewal of two critical education levies — one to fund construction, technology, and safety and security projects across the district, and one to fund day-to-day school operations — in the Feb. 12, 2019, election.

    Why do we need the EP&O Levy?

    info graphic of nurses funding gap

    info graphic showing for counselors

    info graphic on gap in custodian funding

    info graphic showing gap in special education funding

    School districts are funded through state, local and federal dollars. But there’s currently a gap between what the state funds for K-12 education and what Seattle students need.

    So, every three years, the district asks voters to consider renewing the operations levy, which is a local education property tax. In addition, school construction is primarily funded by local voter-approved capital levies.

    Washington state recently changed how it helps fund schools. Some school districts saw a large increase in state funding, while others, like Seattle, didn’t.

    graphic showing difference between district spending per student and state allows per student

    While we're grateful for the increases that have been provided, the state still isn't fully funding K-12 education. This creates a gap between what the state funds and what we need for our nearly 53,000 students.

    Starting in the 2019-20 school year, Seattle Public Schools will face an even greater deficit because the state limited our ability to collect the local education levies we need for our students here in Seattle.

    What are we doing?

    • We are planning for a difficult budget year.
    • We are advocating for our students and our community.
    • We are working with lawmakers to address this funding gap challenge.
    • We will continue to provide our students with what they need to be successful

    What will the EP&O Levy provide for Seattle students?

    This levy:

    Funds critical day-to-day school operations, such as additional school staff beyond what the state allocates.

    Helps pay for instructional materials and textbooks

    Bridges the funding gap between what the state funds and what Seattle students need.

    Provides funds for Special Education to ensure our 7,000 students who need special education services have the supports they need.

    Helps close the opportunity gaps by continuing to provide programs to support our most vulnerable students.

    Download the School Board Action Report (BAR) and Ballot Resolution adobe pdf icon

    Why are we asking for more than our state levy cap for the EP&O Levy?

    The state capped our district at how much money we can ask voters to approve. We are hoping the state will change this in 2019.

    So we are seeking additional funding authority from our voters to be able to collect at the higher dollar amount. This is a prudent and common approach other districts have and are using to make sure that we are able to collect funding, if that state makes any changes in the 2019 legislative session.

    If the state doesn’t make changes, we will collect at the rate currently authorized by the state.
    info graphic showing the tax rates being requested

    What is the cost of the EP&O Levy?

    The Educational Programs and Operations Levy would raise $815 million over three years.
    The levy is not a new tax. It renews the current operations levy, which end after 2019.

    If the levy is approved, homeowners would pay the following education levy, and those funds will stay in Seattle to support our district schools:

    image of chart showing tax rate per year for a $700 K home

    building for learning logo

    Contact Us

    Operations Levy: budget
    @seattleschools.org

    Mailing Address:
    Levies 2019
    Seattle Public Schools
    M.S. 22-336
    P.O. Box 34165
    Seattle, WA 98124-1165

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