The state made big changes to education funding in 2017 but most school districts have needs that exceed their state funding. State lawmakers and other officials continue to learn about the impacts of these changes and consider modifications moving forward. Meanwhile, the law of the land currently affects taxpayers by:
The two-year Replacement Operations and Educational Programs Levy would help the district maintain essential student programs and services beyond what is funded by the state.
Current student programs and services funded by this levy include:
- Classroom staff
- special education teachers who address unique learning needs
- regular education teachers who provide instruction
- teacher aides and paraprofessionals who support our teachers
- Other staff
- counselors who address social and emotional needs
- custodians who keep our buildings clean and safe
- coaches who help build skills outside the classroom
- Classroom materials and supplies that help our students learn
- Staff training focused on student achievement
- All extra-curricular activities, such as clubs, bands and athletics
These are not new taxes, but a replacement of the expiring Maintenance and Operations Levy approved in 2014. No local school levy tax can be collected after Dec. 31, 2018 without voter approval. While the expiring 2014 levy costs taxpayers approximately $3.23 per $1000 assessed valuation, changes in state law lower this cost starting in 2019 to an estimated $1.50 per $1,000 assessed valuation. This year (2018) will be an exception year when the state school levy costs increase 81 cents per $1000 valuation and the 2014 levy completes its last year. Staring in 2019, overall school taxes for Longview residents are expected to dip below 2017 rates. The decrease is expected even if voters approve both levies on the Feb. 13 ballot.
To find out more about the two levies on the Feb. 13 ballot, please visit our Replacement Levies Information Hub.