School Board approves February 13, 2018 replacement levy election

The Southside School Board has unanimously agreed to place a School Educational Enrichment Levy on the February 13, 2018 Special Election ballot.

Southside District has 215 students that attend school each day knowing their community provides the kind of support necessary to educate their children in the best way possible within district means. As a result, Southside has been awarded both Academic Achievement Awards and School of Distinction Awards for the past 4 consecutive years. These awards are presented to the top 5% of schools in Washington State. We are one of only eleven schools to ever maintain this status for 4 years and even fewer have held it for 4 consecutive years. Southside is an amazing district because of the amount of support provided by our community, parents, staff, and students. Voters in the Southside community have earned a reputation for providing the funding required to offer excellent educational programs and support an outstanding facility used for school and for a variety of community events. Southside is a selected site for emergency housing purposes and has the fields available for emergency air lifts for our community members.

The School Educational Enrichment Levy would not be a new tax for voters, rather continuing support for existing educational programs and day-to-day operations at Southside that afford enrichment opportunities to maximize learning for our students.

The current levy represents 26 percent of the district’s operating budget for the 2017-18 school year and will expire in 2018.

The estimated annual tax rate to homeowners would be $3.55 per $1,000 of assessed valuation but may be reduced to $1.50 per $1,000 if the currently approved rate stays in place. If approved, the current rate for the replacement levy will be $2.55 less per $1,000 of assessed valuation than the 2018 levy rate.

Levy dollars are not used to build new schools or for capital projects. They are part of the district’s operating budget. The levy supports educational programs; day-to-day operations; maintains basic health, safety, and security; and on-going facility maintenance of Southside school.

-K-12 educational program support;

-Arts, Music and Afterschool Opportunities;

-Classroom teachers, instructional assistants, nurse;

-Classroom instructional materials and technology support;

-Reasonable class sizes;

-Basic operations of school buildings and grounds; Transportation;

-On-going maintenance of heating, ventilation, plumbing, lighting and electrical systems, playgrounds and      playfields, alarm and sprinkler systems; and Emergency preparedness

Levy funds are also used for preventative maintenance and efficiencies in district operations. For example, buses were purchased to replace older fully depreciated buses. These new buses have 30 percent greater efficiency and they generate additional state depreciation revenue which prevented the need for a transportation levy. We make investments to preserve our assets and maximize our available resources. Taking care of these assets preserves them and reduces ongoing expenses. This replacement levy would allow key programs and necessary facility maintenance and operations to continue for the next four years. As homeowners maintain their house over time, school districts must do the same.

Feel free to contact Doris Bolender, Principal/Superintendent, if you should have questions regarding this enrichment levy.