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Levy's passage means vital support for school district's services

From Mirror staff reports

The educational programs and operations levy for the Federal Way School District became the first to pass with the supermajority rule no longer in effect.

As of press time Feb. 21, about 62 percent (9,217) voted in favor of the school levy, while about 38 percent (5,536) voted against it. Levies make up the difference in what state money doesn’t cover for schools. The levy will account for about 30 percent of the school district’s operating expenses. This particular levy will replace the current four-year levy that expires at the end of the school year.

The levy will help pay for 43 teachers and 41 classified full-time staff. The latter category includes information technology employees, security, school resource officers and crossing guards as well as positions that fulfill unfunded state mandates regarding the 13th year plan and truancy policies. The levy also supports transportation, special education and textbook adoption.

The levy shouldn’t be confused with the recently approved school construction bond. A levy pays for the district’s educational and school operations, while the bond pays for school construction and repairs.

In addition, the tax rate for the new levy will be lower. The expiring levy’s tax rate is $2.83 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. For the replacement levy, the tax rate will be $2.74 per $1,000. Combined with the current technology levy and the recently approved construction bond, the total tax rate is $4.19 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

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For updated election information, visit http://www.metrokc.gov/elections/

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