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  February 12, 2013 Special Election


Seattle School District No. 1

Simple Majority (Washington Constitution, article VII, section 2(a))

Proposition No. 1
Operations Levy


The Board of Directors of Seattle School District No. 1 requests approval of an operations levy for education, as set forth in Resolution No. 2012/13-3. This proposition authorizes the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy and maintain current funding levels in order to support the District’s educational programs and operations, on all taxable property within the District:


Collection
Years
2014
2015
2016

Approximate
Levy Rate/$1,000
Assessed Value
$1.45
$1.55
$1.60


Levy
Amount
$167,200,000
$185,100,000
$199,600,000

Should this proposition be approved?



Yes
No

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

Seattle Public Schools requests voter approval of an operations levy of $551.9 million in the aggregate for the three year period from 2014 to 2016.  The proposed levy will replace an expiring levy.

Passage of Proposition No. 1 would allow the levy of taxes over a three year period to pay for the education programs and operations and to meet the education needs of the students attending District schools.  The money in and to be paid into the General Fund of the District is insufficient to meet those needs without additional funds.

Programs and services to be funded by the levy include: 6th period classes at middle and high school levels; teachers and instructional assistants; textbooks and classroom supplies; bilingual and special education services; student transportation, security, maintenance and other operations; student activities, such as athletics, arts, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities; professional development and training.

The total amount to be collected will be $167.2 million in 2014, $185.1 million in 2015 and $199.6 million in 2016.   The estimated levy rates per $1,000 of assessed value will range from $1.45 per one thousand for 2014 collections to $1.60 per one thousand for 2016 collections.  The exact levy rate will be adjusted based upon the actual assessed value of the property within the District at the time of the levy.

Statement For

Please RENEW this essential Seattle Public Schools Operations Levy. Its passage is vital to the quality of education we are able to provide the more than 49,800 students currently enrolled – and the 7,000 additional students expected in the next ten years. A great city must have great public schools.

The Operations Levy replaces our current levy and provides every school with vital funding for day-to-day education needs that are not fully funded by the state. It accounts for 26% of the District’s operating budget.  The Operations Levy helps pay for items such as teachers, a sixth period at high schools, supplies, bilingual and special education services, security, and student activities such as music and athletics. Without these funds, our children’s education will suffer – teachers and staff would be laid off, class sizes increased and important programs cut.

“Please vote to renew this levy!  Without these resources it is hard to imagine how teachers can do their jobs.  Thank you.”  Carrie Kazala (Teacher, Eckstein Middle School)

This levy is not a new tax. It replaces the expiring Operations Levy. Please vote to renew our commitment to Seattle’s children.

Rebuttal of Statement Against

Renewing the Operations Levy is critical to ensuring a quality education for our kids.  It provides over 25% of the funds needed to operate our schools – money that benefits every one of our students and that the state does not provide.  

The Con statement is incorrect.  The separate Capital Levy will replace the Arbor Heights building and reduce the maintenance backlog.

We cannot have a great city without great schools.  Vote YES on Proposition 1.

Statement submitted by: Norm Rice, Lauren McGuire and Jeff Clark; info@schoolsfirstseattle.org

Statement Against

The Seattle School District’s enrollment rate continues to grow; yet the school district has continually used and mismanages many of the funds provided to them.  Countless dollars are not being spent on repairs; schools are taking a loss in funds by selling school at losses only to reopen them.

In 2009 the school district was offered $9.7 million for the sales of Martin Luther King Elementary.  When all was said and done they voted to sell it to a non-profit church for $2.3 million.   This is lost money that could have provided much needed maintenance.   Arbor Heights the oldest school in the district and the most in need of repairs is not even part of the money allotted in the levy.  Now the school district is nearly $550 million in back repairs.

This mismanagement of funds is not helping our students.  We need improvement in our schools.  Do you as a voter want to see your tax dollars go down the drain?

Vote NO on the operations Levy

Rebuttal Of Statement For

Poor decisions caused levy dollars to be put at risk by closing schools then reopening them for more money.

There are 26 lawsuits pending against SPS for failure to provide a quality special education.

Over the past ten years voters have given SPS close to a billion dollars. What do we have to show for it? Buildings are crumbling and falling apart.

Based on the reasons set forth please vote against the operations levy.

Statement submitted by: Nick Esparza

Complete Text of Resolution

Full text of resolution