Replacement levy vote coming Feb. 12
By Jason Miller
Concrete School District voters will decide Feb. 12 whether to approve a replacement educational programs and operations levy for the district. Ballots were mailed to eligible voters in mid-January.
The levy is meant to replace a current maintenance and operations levy that will expire in December 2013. The new levy will be collected in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
Concrete School District receives 22 percent of its operating funds from the local levy, with the balance coming from the state (66 percent) and federal sources (13 percent). A struggling economy and steady decreases in state funding have made the levy even more crucial, according to school officials.
“Our local community’s continued support of education is critical right now as we face cutbacks in funding,” said Concrete School District Superintendent Barb Hawkings.
Continued unfunded increases in costs for items such as bus and heating fuel severely affect school district budgets, said Hawkings, with technology and grounds maintenance being two areas that are predominantly supported with levy dollars.
Concrete School District enrollment has declined steadily during the past several years, but the district remains fiscally sound because of voters’ consistent support of the maintenance and operations levies.
School levies require 40 percent of the votes cast for validation and 50 percent must be in favor for the levy to pass. During the last general election, 2,110 votes were cast; therefore, 844 people must vote in the levy election on Feb. 12 to validate the levy, and 423 votes must be yes votes.
What will the levy provide?
The levy will fund a range of maintenance and operations needs, including:
- Staffing, student, and community programs: Continue to offer classes, support services, and staff, such as health services, psychologist, counselor. Sustain and support the music program, extracurricular activities, and community education (39 percent).
- Curriculum and staff training (21 percent).
- Technology: Equipment replacement and upgrades, software/licensing, media resources, repairs (15 percent).
- Facilities and grounds maintenance, including roofing, asphalt, drainage, irrigation systems, and emergency repairs (14 percent).
- Individual building needs, including replacement of textbooks (7 percent).
- Unfunded district needs (2 percent).
- Food services (1 percent).
- Transportation (1 percent).
The replacement levy would become effective Jan. 1, 2014, and would continue through Dec. 31, 2016.
For more information about the replacement levy, call the district office at 360.853.8141.