BATTLE GROUND — Battle Ground Public Schools will host three levy information nights to provide details and answer questions about Proposition 2, the district’s replacement educational programs, maintenance and operations levy that will be on the Feb. 14 special election ballot.
All members of the community are invited to the public events, which will be held:
- Tue., Jan. 17, 6-7 p.m., at Chief Umtuch Middle School, 700 NW 9th St., Battle Ground
- Tue., Jan. 24, 6-7 p.m., at Laurin Middle School, 13601 NE 97th Ave., Vancouver
- Tue., Jan. 31, 6-7 p.m., at Yacolt Primary School, 406 W. Yacolt Road, Yacolt
At the events, school district administrators will present information about the educational programs, maintenance and operations levy, and then answer questions. More information about the levy and the information nights is available at www.battlegroundps.org/levy.
In December, the Battle Ground Public Schools Board of Directors voted to put the replacement levy on the Feb. 14 special election ballot. According to district officials, this levy is not a new tax, and will replace the school district’s current levy, which provides about 23 percent of the district’s total operating budget. The current levy expires at the end of 2017. The tax rate for the levy is projected to stay the same as the current levy rate.
Levy dollars make up the difference between what the state provides for K-12 education and what it costs to operate schools while providing a quality learning environment. Levy dollars are pooled with state funds to help keep class sizes small, maintain facilities, supply technology resources to students, and provide for staff that enhance security, learning experiences and after-school activities.
Much of what the levy pays for is people, according to district officials. Battle Ground’s levy helps keep class sizes small by providing an additional 260 teachers and school and district support staff above what the state funds. Teachers lead classes and programs, and classified staff provide educational and administrative support in multiple areas, from health services and safety to office staffing and maintenance.
Some examples of what the levy funds include:
- About 25 percent of teachers, support and administrative staff, which includes 10 nurses, 92 certificated staff, 20 school psychologists, seven security staff, 64 teaching assistants and seven assistant principals, among others.
- Small class sizes
- Art, music and drama
- Textbooks and curricula
- After-school activities
- Security and communications
- Professional development
- Building maintenance
The levy rate is currently projected to remain the same as the current levy rate, which is $3.66 per $1,000 of assessed property value.