Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.
The Feb. 13 election will ask Longview voters to replace two important levies that expire at the end of the year. The Replacement Operations and Educational Programs Levy would help the district to continue providing essential services to our students. The Replacement Capital Projects and Technology Levy would provide the district needed funds for the upkeep of its aging buildings, facilities, fields, and continue to provide computers for teaching and learning. Levy dollars are needed to bridge the critical gap between state funding and the need to provide Longview students with an education that prepares them for the future.
The Replacement Operations and Educational Programs Levy for 2019 and 2020 would help the district maintain essential student programs and services beyond what is funded by the state. These include:
- special education teachers who address our students’ unique learning needs
- regular education teachers who provide instruction for our students
- counselors who address our students’ social and emotional needs
- custodians who keep our buildings clean and safe
- teacher aides and paraprofessionals who help our students learn
- coaches who help our students build skills outside the classroom
- classroom materials and supplies that help our students learn
At $1.50 per $1,000 assessed property valuation, this levy would cost Longview taxpayers less than half the one it is replacing. After the old Maintenance and Operations Levy expires in 2018, overall school-related taxes are expected to decrease, beginning in 2019.
The Replacement Capital Projects and Technology Levy for 2019-2022 would provide additional money for maintenance and improvement of district buildings, facilities, and fields, while continuing access to educational technology for students and staff. This request would yield approximately $3 million for each of the four years. Of that, $2.25 million is expected to support facilities upkeep and improvements. Projects funded through this levy would include: safety and security upgrades, roof replacements, boiler repairs and replacements, concrete repairs, efficient electricity and lighting upgrades, grounds maintenance and improvements, and athletic field maintenance and upgrades. This levy also would enable the district to keep its technology for student learning up-to-date and continue its established plan of replacing classroom computers and educational technology on a school-by-school basis. It also can be used to do things like replace worn-out school intercom systems that provide essential communications. At approximately 60 cents per $1,000 assessed property value, this replacement levy would cost more than the expiring capital projects and technology levy. However, combined with the reduced operational and educational programs levy, the total cost of the district’s levy request is less than the current total levy cost.
Longview Public Schools has a history of open communication. If you have any questions or would like additional details, please contact me by phone at (360) 575-7016 or by email.