I am writing to urge support for the McCleary School District levy on the Feb. 11 ballot. This is not a new tax but the renewal of existing revenues that support basic education needs for our students. The levy represents 22 percent of the district’s annual budget. Funds from state resources do not fully cover the cost of educating our children. The levy helps bridge the gap between what the state provides and what it actually costs to operate our own school district for our children. When we pass our levy, the district also receives “levy equalization” dollars from the state. Only districts passing levies are eligible for equalization funding. These funds are estimated to be more than $200,000 a year during the life of the two-year levy.
Levy funds have traditionally been used by the district for all-day kindergarten and preschool, new text books and supplies, teachers and educational assistants, music and band, technology, and sports and extra-curricular activities. Levy funds directly impact the local children and community.
I have been a school board member for many years. It has always been tough to maximize the funding available. I can tell you the past few years have been extremely difficult. This year the board decided to increase the levy in order to make up for past reductions. The increase amounts to around $30 a year for a home assessed at $100,000. That’s $2.50 a month to help our school remain one of the best small schools in the region.
McCleary School District residents are in a unique situation, remaining an independent district, with local board representation. We have a great school, a great staff, and great students.
Please vote “yes” on the McCleary School District levy this Feb. 11.