Initial results of April 25 special election show split results in area district’s levy requests
Voters in Washougal appear to have approved a pair of levy requests while voters in Woodland appear to be narrowly rejecting a levy request by their district.
The first set of results from the April 25 special election were released Tuesday evening. Both the Washougal School District and Woodland School District were asking voters to approve levy requests that were rejected in the Feb. 14 special election. Because the levies were already rejected once, if they are rejected by voters this time the respective district would not be able to make another levy request this year.
Washougal School District
Voters in both Clark and Skamania counties were asked to vote on two levy requests proposed by the Washougal School District Board of Directors and each appears to be passing. District officials stated that the levies would support and sustain student-centered programs in Washougal schools. Levies fill a 20 percent gap in the Washougal School District budget which is unfunded by state and federal dollars. Each levy request is being passed by voters in Clark and Skamania counties at this point.
The levies would replace the EP&O Levy and Tech Levy expiring at the end of 2023. Combined, the proposed EP&O and Capital levy rates are lower than school levy rates approved by Washougal voters in 2020. The EP&O levy is proposed at a rate of $1.99 per thousand of assessed valuation, which is lower than the previously approved $2.14 rate. The EP&O and Capital levies work in tandem to fund student programs, staffing, and keep schools in good repair.
Proposition 12, the EP&O Levy, has received 2,944 yes votes (56.47 percent) and 2,269 no votes (43.53 percent). Proposition 13, the Tech Levy, has received 2,817 votes (55.37 percent) and 2,271 no votes (44.63 percent).
Woodland School District
Proposition 1, a Educational Programs and Operations Levy, is currently being rejected by voters in the Woodland School District, which consists of residents in both Clark and Cowlitz counties.
The levy request currently has 1,634 yes votes (49.44 percent) and 1,671 no votes (50.56 percent). More results will be available in the coming days.
In addition to budget reductions to nearly every program district-wide, district officials believe the failure to replace the existing levy will result in dozens of school employees losing their jobs. In March, the Woodland Public Schools’ Board of Directors identified $3,000,000 in cuts to educational programs and services that must be made if the community doesn’t approve the district’s replacement levy.
In addition to budget reductions to nearly every program district-wide, the failure to replace the existing levy will result in dozens of school employees losing their jobs. “The school district has a long tradition of maintaining fiscal responsibility with any levy funds we request from the community,” Superintendent Michael Green instructed the board. “There is no cut on the list that won’t substantially hurt student education in our community.”
Green pointed out that the lack of a replacement levy will have dire, severe, and direct effects on student learning district-wide, “These cuts will reduce staff and drastically hamper efforts to maintain the county-leading growth in student learning our district has enjoyed in recent years.”
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Washougal had 77% more yes votes this round vs 15% more no votes. The people have spoke!