South Whidbey School District levies up for renewal

South Whidbey School District is seeking to extend two existing levies in the Feb. 12 special election.

Residents of South Whidbey will be asked to approve a capital improvement/technology levy and an educational programs and operations levy on special election ballots sent in the mail.

Both replace expiring levies and will not raise property taxes, according to the district’s website.

The district’s educational programs and operations levy was previously known as the maintenance and operations levy. It replaces a levy approved by voters in February 2016 that expires on Dec. 31, 2019.

The educational programs and operations levy helps maintain class size, programs and services and funds the extra costs associated with food service, special education and bus service that are not covered by the state.

In February 2013, voters approved a six-year capital levy. It provides $2 million per year to fund ongoing technology efforts, deferred maintenance and other capital improvements throughout the district.

Approximately 20 percent of the school district’s general fund is provided by the educational programs and operations levy.

The district, however, depends entirely on the capital improvement/technology levy to improve the school environment for students and provide access to technology.

Approving the levies means another six-year cycle of funding would begin on Jan. 1, 2020.

Ballots must be returned or postmarked by Feb. 12 to be counted.

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