Edmonds School Board votes to put replacement levy on Feb. 8 ballot

The Edmonds School District Board of Directors voted Tuesday night to put a replacement educational programs and operations levy   on the Feb. 8, 2022, ballot.

The education levy bridges the gap to cover costs not provided by state or federal dollars.

“The levy funds programs like high-quality fine arts and performing arts, athletics, college in the high school, STEM, International Baccalaureate and more than four times the number of nurses the state funds for our district. These critical programs and services are an investment in our students and their future,” said Edmonds School District Superintendent, Dr. Gustavo Balderas.

This levy is the second-largest revenue source for the Edmonds School District, making up about 15% of the budgeted general fund.

If approved by voters, the replacement levy would maintain a consistent tax rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed home value.

If the levy does not pass, it would mean significant reductions in staff, programs, and services for students, the district said in a Tuesday night news release.

For more information about the levy or to learn about participating in a pro or con committee, visit the Education Levy website at bit.ly/ESD2022Levy.

  1. “Public school officials consistently say they don’t have enough funding, yet each year they give $3.5 million in public money to one of the largest political lobby operations in the state. The Washington State School Board Directors Association (WSSDA) uses money taken from local education budgets to lobby state lawmakers and influential local officials across the state.
    In its political activity WSSDA often works against the educational interests of parents and students. For example, the national chapter of the organization, the National School Boards Association, recently called on the FBI to investigate parents who speak out at public meetings under the nation’s domestic terrorism laws. Clearly their purpose is to try to silence parents who seek to hold local school board members accountable to their communities.
    In another example, WSSDA backs state-level efforts to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT) to public school children under SB 5044, the bill signed by Governor Inslee in May. This harmful and divisive curriculum says that white students are oppressors and that students of other ethnicities are disempowered victims. Instead of fostering caring and independent minds, CRT pits students against one another, and deprives them of the agency to think for themselves. National education expert Jay P. Greene has found that CRT, also known as “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,” causes harm “by reducing and dividing us into ethnic and sexual identity categories while crushing actual intellectual and cultural diversity.”
    In 2012, WSSDA worked hard against the popular ballot initiative to create charter public schools. Voters passed the measure anyway, and today 4,000 students attend 14 caring and innovative charter schools across the state. WSSDA continues to work against charter school families, and supports funding inequities that deny learning opportunities to these students.
    Local school boards tell us they are chronically underfunded and they regularly cut music, art, athletics and other popular programs. The legislature should end the transfer of public money to WSSDA and instead direct $3.5 million a year to benefit music, the arts and athletics in Washington’s elementary schools.”

    1. The average salary for a first year teacher is around $50,000. That means $3.5 million dollars could hire around 70 first year music, art, or athletic teachers for the entire state, with little left over to actually fund those programs. It is not a significant enough amount to have the impact, if “saved”, that is being claimed.

      School board directors are elected officials who, legally, are not allowed to be compensated with more than $4,800 a year for their time and labor. The people in these positions because they have a passion for the educational interests of students and families in their community.

      Edmonds school district has a budget of around $350 million. This levy makes up about 15% of that budget. 3.5 million is 1% of the budget.

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