Replacement Highline Public Schools levy will be on Feb. 13 ballot

Highline Public Schools voters will be asked to renew a four-year educational programs and operations levy in February, 2018.

The levy is not a new tax. It replaces the current levy, which is set to expire at the end of 2018.

Levies pay for educating students and operating schools above the costs covered by the state.

The state Supreme Court says schools are not yet fully funded by the state. Our local levy makes up the gap between what the state funds and the education Highline schools provide.

The proposed levy pays for needs the state is not fully funding, like special education, school nurses, school security, transportation, help for students who need additional support and other critical needs.

If approved, the new levy tax rate will be significantly less than the current levy tax rate.

Staff Positions Funded with Levy Dollars:

  • Teachers: additional teachers maintain smaller class sizes
  • School safety & security officers: the state funds 3.5 FTE; Highline provides 14 FTE (FTE = full time equivalent)
  • School nurses: the state funds 3 FTE; Highline has 15 FTE
  • Classroom instructional assistants: additional assistants provide individual and small group instruction
  • Counselors & school social workers: the state funds 38 counselors and 1 social worker; Highline provides 47 counselors and 8 social workers
  • Educational Programs Not Fully Funded by the State
  • Camp Waskowitz outdoor learning experience: includes week-long sixth-grade camp and outdoor education for other grades
  • Special education
  • Athletics
  • Extended learning programs for students who need extra help

The state is providing additional dollars to school districts under its new funding plan but is limiting the amount districts can request in local levies. As a result, even with passage of a renewal levy, we will see a net reduction in revenue after the current levy expires—unless the Legislature makes changes to the current funding plan.

If approved by voters, the new estimated levy rate will be $1.50 per $1,000 assessed home value. Here is the maximum amount that can be collected:

  • 2019: $47,329,540
  • 2020: $48,749,426
  • 2021: $50,211,909
  • 2022: $51,718,266

In comparison, the 2017 levy tax rate is $3.38 per $1,000 assessed home value with a maximum collection of $60.8 million.

Visit the district’s levy web section to learn more and dive into the details.

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