Sally McLean, Chief Finance and Operations Officer, Federal Way Public Schools

Sally McLean, Chief Finance and Operations Officer, Federal Way Public Schools

Latest on Federal Way school funding (in a nutshell)

  • Saturday, August 18, 2018 1:30am
  • Opinion

Property tax relief is on the way!

Thanks to the McCleary ruling and legislative action, relief from the over-reliance on local levies to support public education is on its way. Beginning in 2019, local property owners will pay LESS for local school levy funding approved by Federal Way Public Schools’ (FWPS) voters. The local school levy, commonly referred to as the Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy, declines by approximately $2 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2019. This means for every $100,000 of assessed valuation, taxes will be reduced by about $200.

Unpacking McCleary

The “McCleary Fix” impacts every school district differently. However, one thing that is common across districts is that the new funding formulas won’t keep pace with inflation.

For example, this year the Consumer Price Index for our area indicates costs have risen by 3.1 percent. As a result of the “McCleary Fix”, net revenues were increased by 1.9 percent. This means costs will rise faster than revenues, and this gap will result in significant budget reductions as early as the 2019–20 school year.

FWPS has a long track record of strong financial stewardship, including keeping promises to voters, maintaining strong internal controls and securing strong credit ratings. We are grateful for our community’s collective commitment to bringing out the best in each of the 23,000 scholars in our care, and we will continue to keep our community informed about school funding impacts in Federal Way Public Schools.

If you have specific questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at, or by calling (253) 945-2043.

Sally McLean is Chief Finance and Operations Officer for Federal Way Public Schools.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Stopping COVID is now up to each of us

With a resurgence threatening, we need to take greater responsibility to keep the virus in check.

Federal Way Mirror
Why this newspaper is capitalizing Black | Editorial

Moving forward, the Federal Way Mirror will capitalize Black when referring to… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Defund the police department? What needs to change | Roegner

Our country is at a defining moment in our search for true… Continue reading

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
The search for selfhood

What really matters is the desire to find.

Valley police chiefs of King County release unified message in response to death of George Floyd

Police chiefs of Des Moines, Tukwila, Renton, Federal Way, Kent, Auburn, Algona, Pacific, Black Diamond and the Port of Seattle pledge to stand with communities.

Email your letters to
Federal Way proud | Letter to the editor

Around noon May 31, Nick Rose, who owns our Ace Hardware store,… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Democrats have the edge in WA’s 2020 elections

Last year, most political insiders thought 2020 would be a big Democratic… Continue reading

Christian flag at City Hall? | Letters to the editor

Christian flag at City Hall? It looks like maybe a new tradition… Continue reading

Pandemic illustrates the need for government action

Despite spending most of my life in government and politics and working… Continue reading

Most Read