Seattle Public Schools votes for levy

Additional funding would pay for books

The Seattle School Board voted unanimously last week to place a three-year, $48.2 million supplemental operations levy before Seattle voters on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.
The operations levy provides partial funding for many district programs, including full-day kindergarten, sixth period at high schools, special education and English Language Learners. Last February, Seattle voters approved a level of $442.7 million for three years to cover these costs. But because the state has reduced K-12 funding during the past two years, including a cut of approximately $32 million during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, the district is predicting an estimated funding gap of $27 million for 2011-12.
If the supplemental levy is approved by voters, these additional funds would be collected over the period from 2010 to 2013 to create or enhance programs that otherwise would be cut.
Seattle Public Schools received voter approval in February for an operations levy based on the 32.97 percent lid.
During the 2010 Legislative session, the Legislature lifted the levy lid by 4 percent. As a result, Seattle Public Schools can now seek a levy that is up to 36.97 percent of allowable expenses.
SPS intends to use approximately $5.9 million of the supplemental levy funds received in the first year to fund textbooks and other instructional materials.[[In-content Ad]]