Don’t let wintry weather wipe out your vote on Seattle school levies — Ballots due Tuesday

It’s cold out there but don’t let that get in the way of your civic duty.

Ballots are due by Tuesday night for the February special election vote on two Seattle Public Schools levies.

You have until 8 PM Tuesday to get your ballot postmarked or dropped into one of the county’s drop boxes — including the one waiting for you on the iced bricks of Seattle Central.

The levies are needed to replace two levies previously passed by voters but set to expire. The first is renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy and the second renews the Building Excellence V (BEX V) Capital Levy.

The district reminds that the levies are not a new tax:

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.

More from SPS here.

Chris Reykdal, the Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction, has said even with an overhaul of state funding for schools, local levies including Seattle’s are still necessary. “Seattle Public Schools is asking for additional authority from voters because the Legislature significantly cut its local levy,” he writes. “Seattle will lose nearly $100 million in voter-approved school levies under the Legislature’s levy swap. This is too much! The Legislature has made important progress in amply funding our basic-education program, but it was under no court order to cut local voter-approved levies.”

The levy votes are likely to continue Seattle’s trend of approving taxes for the district but ice over turnout could be a factor. A different sort of school levy in 2018 that boosted City of Seattle programs for preschool and community college students also passed.


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4 thoughts on “Don’t let wintry weather wipe out your vote on Seattle school levies — Ballots due Tuesday

  1. Very disappointed with SPS lack of explanation as to the size of the Operations Levy after the McCleary decision resulted in a significant property tax increase for school funding. Wouldn’t surprise me if this levy fails for the first time in decades.

  2. McCleary did not fully fund education. You’re frustration is misdirected at the district. You should call your state rep cause they took money from Seattle and sent it to other districts – mainly rural districts (Yakima – you’re welcome). Those extra tax dollars don’t stay here – it was a levies swap. Then they capped what the district could collect in taxes so now Seattle is in the hole. It still cost the same to educate kids as it did before the McCleary “fix”. Furthermore all this information is on the district website if you cared to do even a cursory search.

  3. You misunderstood my comment. (I did, in fact, vote for the levy.) My issue is that many people will be surprised to see an operations levy at all, and will be astonished by its size. The district didn’t bother one bit, in all the mailings and other promotional activities that I have seen explain what McCleary did, and why this operations levy is necessary. Should this levy fail we are going to have to do it all over again and the district will have to spend money they should have spent for educating the public in the first place. On the other hand, maybe it will pass. We seem to approve almost everything locally.

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