Skip To ContentSkip To Content
    School District Levies Renewal February 2019
    Posted on 12/04/2018
    Building for Learning levies logo

    What’s on the February 12, 2019, ballot for Seattle Public Schools?

    Seattle Public Schools will ask voters to consider renewing two critical levies–one to fund day-to-day operations and one to fund construction to add capacity and rebuild aging schools.


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

    • Funding for critical day-to-day school operations, such as additional school staff beyond what the state allocates and instructional materials.
    • Helps bridge the funding gap between what the state funds and what Seattle students need. For instance, the state funds nine nurses per year, but the district employs 63.
    • Funding for Special Education to ensure our 7,000 students who need special education services have the supports they need. The district spends $140 million a year for special education, but the state only funds $68 million a year.
    • Helps close the opportunity gaps by continuing to provide programs to support our most vulnerable students.

    2. Renewal of the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy

    • Replaces or modernizes eight aging schools: Rainier Beach High School, Mercer International Middle School, Alki Elementary, Kimball Elementary, Montlake Elementary, Northgate Elementary, John Rogers Elementary and Viewlands Elementary.
    • Adds classrooms, removes portables.
      • Addition at West Seattle Elementary
      • Adds 1,908 new seats across the district
      • Removes 76 portables throughout the district
      • Expands Original Van Asselt to serve as an interim site
    • Improves safety and security at EVERY school. Secure entrances and school sites, earthquake safety improvements, upgrade fire alarm systems.
    • Provides all schools equitable classroom technology and support for student learning. Improves district systems and infrastructure.
    • Plans for the future. Funding for the design phase of future projects, including Aki Kurose Middle School and Sacajawea Elementary, and to plan for future schools.

    What is the cost for the two education levy renewals?

    The levies are not a new tax. They renew the current levies, which end after 2019. Currently, homeowners pay $1.10 per $1,000 of assessed home value (2018) for the EP&O. If approved, the levy rate would drop to $1.05. The capital levy rate of $.90 per $1,000 is the same rate as requested for BEX IV, which started in 2014.

    If approved, the combined cost for both measures is:

    Tax Per Year on a $700k Home
    Year Rate Tax
    2020 $1.95 $1,367
    2021 $1.78 $1,244
    2022 $1.62 $1,132


    Why do schools need levies?

    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. In addition, school construction is primarily funded by local voter-approved capital levies.

    Learn more information on our levy renewals visit our school levies webpage.

    Learn more about our budget and why we rely on voter-approved school levies visit our budget webpage.

    You can download this same information on the following PDF document.

    Levies Flyers


    Recent Levies Updates