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More voting! February brings school levies renewal ballot to Seattle

Tired of voting yet? With the Sawant recall defeated in December’s vote, don’t put away your special ballot pen. You, District 3 citizen, get to join the rest of Seattle with another vote in February’s special election.

The February 8th vote will bring two Seattle schools replacement levies to the ballot for voters to decide on educational funding in the city: the $646.8 million, three-year renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations Levy and the $783 million, six-year renewal of the Building, Technology, and Academics/Athletics Capital Levy.

The educational programs and operational levy includes funding for “day-to-day operations and funds staff such as nurses and custodians” and would continue funding for programs like child nutrition programs, social-emotional health, and special education, while also funding special programs in science, math, and engineering, and career training.

The buildings and capital levy provides the district budget for construction and overhauls, technology projects, and athletic projects including “maintenance, safety upgrades, and small renovations.” This levy would also include $66.5 million in funding to help replace the district’s Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center with a new grandstand facility to be used for “high school athletics, for graduations, and by the community.”

The district has also been busy executing expensive seismic retrofits of its buildings including an overhaul of Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary. The work also can include smaller projects like the restoration of Garfield High’s doors and courtyard this summer and addition of new health clinics at Lowell and Nova.

The gap between a passed levy and construction can be lengthy. In the summer of 2023, for example, a modernization of the landmarked Montlake Elementary School will begin thanks to funding approved by voters in 2019. The school will be set to reopen in fall of 2025.

Seattle voters have consistently supported taxes on property owners to support the city’s public schools — even as they continue to expand. In 2018, voters approved a $600 million levy powering expansion of services offered by the district. In 2019, voters said yes to more than $2 billion in funding.

 

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Guesty
Guesty
4 months ago

“Replacement levies” – lol, they never do really expire do they?

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
4 months ago
Reply to  Guesty

You must have missed the point where voters vote to replace them.

Helps to do even a tiny bit of reading and the smallest amount of critical thinking. 👍

Bardina
Bardina
4 months ago

Are we going to get a bunch of people claiming voter suppression on this one?

Guesty
Guesty
4 months ago
Reply to  Bardina

Only if their side loses…

Whichever
Whichever
4 months ago

School levies are always a ‘no’ vote from me, boss.

Alal
Alal
4 months ago

just ignore the 7% inflation (which isn’t going away) and the McLeary decision which was the largest property tax increase in WA state history just 5 years ago to go to schools. 100% no vote. sorry, we should sit this one out.

BogaNet
BogaNet
4 months ago

Schools are not working. Education outcomes are worsening. WA has hundreds of millions of unspent federal help funds for education and we are supposed to renew levies and add new ones? Interesting logic.