Replacement Edmonds School District levy to appear on February ballot

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The Edmonds School District will put a replacement school programs and operations levy on the Feb. 13, 2018 ballot.

The Edmonds School Board during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 12 unanimously approved a resolution to hold the election. The levy would allow the district to collect $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value on residences within the district, which totals between an estimated $49 million and $78.5 million per year from 2019-2022.

“This measure is not additional funding – it is what we need in order to continue to operate each day,” School Board Member Gary Noble said. “It directly supports the learning and teaching in each classroom across our district in Brier, Edmonds, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and unincorporated portions of south Snohomish County.”

The resolution (click here to read the resolution in full) was brought before the board this week because a previous maintenance and operations levy will expire in 2018.

According to information provided by the district, the replacement levy will support:

  • Additional teachers to help keep class sizes smaller
  • Paraeducators and staff who support the educational program
  • Safety and security personnel
  • Textbooks and instructional materials
  • Student transportation
  • Athletics, music, drama, and student clubs and activities
  • Services for students with special needs
  • Support for programs, services and technology
  • Staff training to improve teaching and student learning

“The locally-funded levy is our second largest revenue source and remains critical to our success in supporting all students learning,” Superintendent Kris McDuffy said.

The $1.50 levy is a decrease from the previous levy it is replacing, which was at $2.35 per $1,000 of assessed value. The decrease is a result of anticipated increased state funding in the coming years due to state legislation in response to the McCleary decision.

20 Replies to “Replacement Edmonds School District levy to appear on February ballot”

    1. Looks like the “decrease” is just a pump of the breaks for one year before increases as usual. Can’t the schools be funded first, then levies used for all the other “would be nice to have” stuff? That’s the Constitution, McCleary ruling, right? They’re holding kids hostage for extra money, because a level to buy new squad cars wouldn’t pass whereas a levy “for the kids” would pass.

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      1. Police is a city responsibility; education is the responsibility of the school district – two different taxing authorities.

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  1. I believe that it is a civic duty to support the education of our young people. I was supported for my K-12 schooling in the ’50’s and early ’60’s and I am happy to pay it back now.

    The link provided indicates that it will cost about $1.26 a day in CY21 – about half the cost of a small cup of coffee in downtown Edmonds.

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    1. Agreed. But when there’s a long line of adults getting coffee in front of the kids, sometimes there’s no hot chocolate left for the rest. Thats the scheme behind this levy, and why our state legestlature was held in contempt. Where is all this coffee money going? Look at what it cost in the 50’s and 60’s verse today: https://www.cato.org/blog/public-school-spending-theres-chart Teachers need raises still.

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  2. The State Education property tax increase plan has a lot of gotchas in it as well as the February Education levy in Edmonds; these taxes are additive and considering property inflation…The taxes will be a shock to everyone not really researching it…

    Kind of like the ST3 rise in Car Tabs…

    Research, be informed, be wise, and not simply blinded by the Groupthink mantra–“it’s for the kids”

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    1. Mr. Williams, your have some interesting comments about our schools. I served one our local ESD 189 school board for a number of years and while doing so had the opportunity to learn more about school funding. While the McCleary case was moving through the court system I had the opportunity to meet with Randy Dorn and his staff about the costs and implications to taxes to comply with the McCleary case. There was little doubt in how we as a state had messed up school funding and how we had short changed districts with smaller tax basis than we have in Edmonds. Reading the McCleary decision was an eye opening experience and I was so disappointed that the fine public education I received in WA was not being afforded to the kids of today. Yes we will pay more to comply with the McCleary decision but we will still need to do things locally to make sure we continue to provide our kids the same quality education I think I received from the public school system. I have research it over the years and yes we will pay more.
      The above comments are “MeThink” not Groupthink. I am hopeful the others will do their own research and come to the same conclusion and vote for this levy.

      ST3, that is another matter. I believe we could have done a better job figuring out how to move people from A to B, especially with technology and systems that will be available before what ST3 will provide in some distance future.

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  3. I have volunteered for the ESD since 2000. Tutored math, conducted seminars for para educators, reviewed and advised on several levies and bond issues, served on hiring committee, and involved with several citizen sessions dealing with school financing and policies. None of my family went to Edmonds but since that is where my tax money goes I wanted to learn how the money is spent and try to help with the education of kids. I want these kid to get a great education, get a good job, pay their social security taxes and stay out of jail. Really pretty shellfish on my part but that’s just me.

    The McCleary decision when fully implemented will not pay all the costs of what we in Edmonds have come to expect for providing basic education as we have defined it locally. This levy will help to keep a funding level that we have come to expect for our schools.

    In future years our local levy will allow us to do more than the basics and I will be in the front of the line suggesting after school programs not just for sports but for learning. I will also support programs that help kids who need more help to get the best education possible and graduate on time and have the skills to get a good job.

    This is only my opinion based on my own educational experience in the Everett Schools and UW. But if we made sure all kids got a good basic education that would lead to good jobs our society would be better off. Again that selfish motive slips in. America can do a better job of education our kids and at this point this levy will help. I will vote yes, pay more taxes overall, and try to help when and where I can to help the kids.

    We can complain about parts of the education system or we can help make it work better, I chose the later.

    PS. I did my own research on the tech levy a few years back before supporting it and when it was up for renewal I did my homework on did the first levy work and because of what I learned I strongly supported the last tech levy to was designed for Chromebooks for kids on a one to one basis. I have actually got permission and talked with some kids and teachers about the impact of giving kids computers and guess what? They work and Edmonds did this in a more cost effective way that our neighboring districts.

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    1. Wow Darrol! Is this a tech levy though, or a levy for basic funding? Why dont schools teach PC instead of Apple and Chrome-Cloud? Microsoft is WA jobs, and Pc’s cost less than Apple and are the most common business machine with the most job prospects.

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      1. Good thinking Matthew and accurate.

        Remember everything purchased by ESD falls under the GSA schedule. Apple tablets/laptops/Chromebooks + cloud storage/sharing will always show up as less costly than PC and Azure. I can’t explain how this still happens definitively, but I believe the PC/laptop provider world is so large and diverse they can’t come together on a platform with high CPU/memory, minimal storage and default to Azure for long term storage and sharing.

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        1. Ed, Please see some notes below on some answers to some of Mathews thinking. My hands on research for several years on ESD tech levys suggest the EDS is doing a whole lot of things correct in the use of technology for our kids. And they did it in a more cost effective way than some of our neighbors. They got more bang for the buck.

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      2. I do not have a lot of time today to answer all your questions but her is a quick summary. I can put in in touch with the tech experts at ESD or I can spend some time talking with you directly to help you understand the benefits of what the ESD had done with technology. Here are your questions and a short response for each.
        1. Wow Darrol! Is this a tech levy though, or a levy for basic funding? This levy is for regular funding. The article gives you some of the details for this levy. The tech levy was already past with a very large margin.

        2.Why dont schools teach PC instead of Apple and Chrome-Cloud? Chromebook computers are made by almost all manufactures EXCEPT Apple. ESD uses several manufactures and the cost are often under $200. Apple does not sell a computer for that price and they do not sell chromebooks.

        3.Microsoft is WA jobs, and Pc’s cost less than Apple and are the most common business machine with the most job prospects. Yes MS has WA jobs an I will bet that some Edmonds kids will get jobs at MS if we give them the education needed by supporting schools. Cost and Jobs, already answered above.

        One of the great benefits of they way ESD did the tech stuff is they learned from others who implemented first and then did a much more cost effective job that other districts. Additionally the implementation in Edmonds was done in such a way that the kids who cannot take the Chromebooks home (some can take it home based on grade level) can use their home computers whether they be Apple or Windows based and do all the same things just like they are at school. I asked the some kids about how they used their Chromebooks or home PCs or Home apple computers and they all said they can do the same contact with teachers and other students. When I asked the staff about the colorabation process they set me down at a computer, and with in a couple of minutes I was working on a Word doc with the instructor. It was so cool. If you and I and others had that capability we do a far better job of communication and learning from each other.

        Sorry for such a long response but what the schools are doing for our kids is very exciting and useful and I just want to help others understand what a great job the ESD is doing. You can probably guess how I plan to vote for this next levy.

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        1. Darrol,

          I’m sorry for coming across in a way unintended. I have nothing negative to say about how ESD has provides tech to our students. I couldn’t care less which platform our children use to make education as current and dynamic as possible. Diversity in platforms increases learning.

          All I was trying to say is that Apple and Google have lead the market share with Education and Graphic design markets for a while now. PC’s typically require storage (local hard drives), MS operating systems are far more vulnerable to virus and malware attacks than Google, Apple, Python, Lynx, Unix etc. Let alone require weekly patching. Which proves more costly to smaller GSA agencies. To be more precise, ESD offloads the costs associated with data access/management by employing cloud based devices.

          Using low cost devices, with storage managed by a third party saves money for the district and provides more control without employing the human resources required to manage it internally.

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  4. We got our 4 and 7yo boys a Thinkpad laptop (PC). It’s pretty bulletproof. There are some enterprise machines for about $400ea. If you want your kids to have a job in tech, most other machines are boutique. The future is Python (which any computer will run) and .Net/C# (which is Windows). Knowing spreadsheets and scripting VB (hit Alt+F11 next time you have Excel open) will get your kids most any office job they want. It’s a PC world.

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    1. My daughter is older than you and Fortran II was my last programing gig. Please vote for the upcoming school levy.

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  5. Look at your property taxes and what they will be…let that help make your decision…

    And renters won’t escape the sky-rocketing school costs–State and Levy sourced…rents will increase substantially also!

    It’s about the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Salaries and Social Security are not keeping up with the hyper-inflation of #WA Education requests, either by the State or Edmonds Education Levies…

    While I am for schools and a highly trained computer professional, I am also a prudent watchdog of the use of other peoples money…we don’t want to kill the Golden Goose.

    Research, be informed, be wise, and not simply blinded by the Groupthink mantra–“it’s for the kids”

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  6. Hopefully the majority of taxpayers in the ESD will conclude that removing $60m per year from the local budget will not be a good idea.

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