Eatonville School District 2020
Bond and Levy

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Levy Information

The Eatonville School Board unanimously passed two resolutions for the February 2020 ballot.

If approved by voters, renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations Levy will result in collections over four years between 2021-2024. The current levy expires at the end of 2020. The rate to be collected will remain at the previously approved $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

The second proposition the board approved for the ballot is a bond. This bond would tax property owners an average of $.25 per $1,000 of assessed valuation during the collection years. For the owner of a home assessed at $260,000, this would amount to an additional $5.40 per month.

The replacement levy allows the Eatonville School District to pay for educational programs and services, including teaching, school supplies, technology, athletics, buildings and transportation.

The bond will allow for safety upgrades and modernization of the EHS athletic facility to include: replacing the football field with organic turf, replacing the track, making safety upgrades to field event areas, sidewalks, lighting and seating, and ensuring the facility is ADA compliant.

Ballots will be mailed to voters for the February election in January 2020. Ballots for military personnel begin mailing out January 12, 2020. Election day for the February Special Election is February 11, 2020 with certification at the end of February 2020.

Monday, Feb. 3, 2020 is the last day for Pierce County Elections to receive new registrations and voter updates online and by mail. Register online at VoteWa.Gov. Individuals can register to vote or update their registration in person through Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at the Pierce County Election Center (Voting Center).

Q: You are getting more money from the state. Why do you also need a local levy? Schools are fully funded now. The legislature fixed it. Why are you asking for a levy?

A: School funding is a work in progress. In July, state legislators increased state property taxes with the intent of lowering local school taxes, not eliminating local school taxes. It's a good concept and a step in the right direction. But not perfect. Two reasons:

  • The funding formulas in the new law create uneven gaps in how much different districts can ask voters to approve. This means some districts can ask voters for more money per student than others. Once again, this is not an equitable solution for all students and districts in the state.
  • The state money must be spent in very specific ways. Those restrictions eliminate much of our local control for programs our community wants in schools.
  • Eatonville School District Mountain Logo

    Information on the Eatonville School District Levy on February 11, 2020


    I appreciate and value public participation in the democratic process and would like to provide information for voters to consider regarding the February 11 levy.

    THIS IS A REPLACEMENT EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND OPERATIONS LEVY PROPOSITION 1 AND BOND PROPOSITION 2:

    By raising money locally through a levy, the district is able to maintain funding for programs beyond those which the state provides. This includes: teachers so that lower class sizes can be sustained; instructional assistants who work one-on-one or in small groups with students, and provide supervision on the playground; transporting students to and from school, including bus routes in areas where it is unsafe to walk; programs to challenge students, such as gifted education and advanced placement; special education, remediation, and English as a Second Language programs; books, learning materials, software and technology used by students in school; training for teachers to keep their skills and knowledge updated; coaching and supervision for extracurricular activities, such as student music programs and sports; and maintaining and operating school facilities, including heat and lights for classrooms.

    Pierce County Tax Rates

    When considering a school levy, the one factor districts control is the proposed tax rate and overall levy collection amount. In our discussions with the School Board and community, we have deliberately kept the levy tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value at $2.50 as previously approved in the 2018 special election, and by law cannot collect more than that rate. The Board put the same thoughtful consideration into ensuring a minimal bond rate, $.25 per $1,000 of assessed value.

    While Pierce County’s tax rates are higher than some counties', that doesn’t mean property owners are paying more in taxes than residents in other counties. It is important to remember that the total tax collections is based upon the assessed valuations of property.

    Additionally, Pierce County taxes are complex and go beyond schools. There are countywide taxes for the Port of Tacoma, the flood control tax, and taxes for metropolitan park districts, all of which add to the composite tax rate.

    SCHOOL LEVIES ARE NOT ABOUT TEACHER SALARIES; THEY ARE ABOUT SERVICES TO STUDENTS.

    Eatonville teacher salaries have been compared with national salaries, but what matters most is how they compare to Washington State averages, and more importantly, neighboring districts. Research shows that teacher quality is the most important factor regarding student achievement and success. Eatonville School District wants the best teachers in our classrooms and we pay a competitive wage to attract and retain high-quality staff. Our teachers have an average of 13 years of experience in the profession and approximately 67% have a Master’s Degree.

    ADDITIONAL PAY FOR ADDITIONAL WORK

    Teachers are paid a base salary, but have the opportunity to earn more by working more. I believe that’s fair. These aren’t bonuses; this is pay for additional work. These stipends often compensate teachers for additional training (on non-paid days), grade level or department chair positions, and co-curricular activity like athletics, art, band, music and student clubs. These are all items highlighted in levy communications, paid for through levy funds, and supported by our community. We all know that students deserve an equitable, comprehensive and rigorous educational experience.

    Please know that the Eatonville School District would not put this measure forward to voters if it were not critical to sustaining operations and providing a high-quality education for our students. We do not ask for your funding support lightly, and we know that your trust in our stewardship of public dollars is paramount. You have our commitment to do what’s best for students and our community regarding these important levy funds.

    Sincerely,

    Krestin Bahr, Superintendent

    Frequently Asked Questions