At its November 25 meeting, the Longview School Board voted to place a replacement levy on the February 2020 ballot. The current levy expires in December 2020, and the replacement levy would go into effect in January 2021.
By a unanimous 5-0 vote, the school board voted to place a 4-year educational programs levy on the ballot. Levy funding bridges the critical gap between state funding and local educational programs, providing essential services to our students. Levy funding pays for about 125 school employees including:
- Special education teachers and services to address our students’ 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.
- Paraprofessionals (teacher’s aides) who help our students learn.
- Coaches who help our students build skills outside the classroom.
- Staff training focused on student achievement.
- Classroom materials and supplies that help our students learn.
- All extracurricular activities such as clubs, bands, and athletics.
The school district continues to manage finances prudently. From 2013 to 2019, school related property tax rates dropped by 27 percent. In 2013, local homeowners paid $7.38 per $1,000 of assessed home value for schools versus $5.42 per $1,000 in 2019. If the new levy passes the total school related tax rate would increase to $6.11 per $1,000.
Ballots will be mailed out by January 24, 2020 and must be returned to ballot boxes or postmarked by February 11, 2020.
Low income senior citizens and disabled adults may qualify for tax exemptions. The Cowlitz County Auditor has more information.