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School levies pass

Mirror staff

Voters gave Federal Way Public Schools four years of property tax-supported funding for teachers’ salaries and classroom computers by passing two levies Tuesday.

The results won’t be certified until next week, but unofficial returns had both measures receiving more than the 60 percent yes-vote required for each to pass.

Proposition 1 –– the educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy –– had a 62 percent approval vote. Proposition 2 –– the technology levy –– was at 62.9 percent.

Approximately 15,000 ballots were cast, easily topping the minimum voter turnout of 7,692 required for the levy election to be validated.

Taxes in support ofthe EP&O levy will start in 2005 at $2.93 per $1,000 of the assessed valuation of a home/property, and will decrease by four cents a year through 2008. The revenue will be earmarked for day-to-day operations of educational programs, including an estimated 70 percent of the salaries for teachers, librarians, counselors, custodians and other school employees. Levy dollars also pay for staff training, supplies and materials, newsletters to parents, cleaning supplies and books.

The most the technology levy is scheduled to collect in any of the four years beginning in 2005 is 19 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation, roughly $2 a month for a home valued at $150,000. The levy was the district’s specifically for buying or upgrading computer equipment.

Of the district’s 6,200 computers –– 87 percent of them in classrooms –– more than one-third can’t be networked for Internet use, and 72 percent are at least five years old. Older computers often can’t support educational software and CD-ROMs, officials said.

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