ESD levy on Feb. ballot

By Megan Resler

Beginning Friday Jan. 20, Washington state registered voters will receive their mail-in ballots for the Feb. 9 elections.

The School Programs and Operations Levy has been re-added to Snohomish County’s ballot by the Edmonds School District, reinstating an old tax nearing it’s expiration date.. Other districts in state went further than ESD to add additional funding issues to their ballots.

This tax is not new, nor does it add on to pre-existing taxes; it will simply replace an old levy that expires in 2010, and the public will be paying on average the same as they currently do, Edmonds School District Superintendent Nick Brossoit said.

The state has projected it will receive even less funding for the next school year, and the public is growing concerned about where educational resources will come from Brossoit said.

“In the current economy, there are understandably concerns about fiscal matters,” Brossoit said.

“State funding issues will get sorted out in this legislative session, and then we will thoughtfully go through the open process we use to build our operational budget for next year,” Brossoit said.

The levy makes up 20 percent of the district’s General Fund, which funds additional teachers to keep class sizes smaller, new textbooks, student transportation, special-needs services, athletics, music and drama.

It does not however supply new busses or the money needed to rebuild buildings that money comes from different district funds.

“All is considerably better if our General Fund budget has a revenue foundation that includes the replacement of the local programs and operations levy,” Brossoit said.

Information on this replacement tax has been made available electronically on the district Web site as well as in the form of hand outs at school board meetings.