Bond, levies and Building on Success
Redmond, Wash. – Lake Washington School District is planning three ballot measures for the election. The measures are a bond (the second of four planned bonds) a replacement Capital Projects Levy and a replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy. A recommendation was presented to the Board of Directors on October 2, and they formally approved the bond and levies at last night’s board meeting (October 16).
Why does the district need a bond measure?
Lake Washington School District is rapidly growing. Current 2018 enrollment is 29,572 students. This year marks the 10thstraight year of enrollment growth, and Lake Washington is now the third largest district in Washington state. Between 2010-2017, the district has grown an average of 700 students per year.
The district needs additional schools and classrooms to meet growing enrollment needs. In 2016, voters passed the first of four planned bond measures that will fund school construction projects needed through the 2029-2030 school year. These projects were recommended by a citizen-based community task force. The 2018 bond continues to implement the task force plan to build more schools, reduce overcrowding, reduce reliance on portables, and address aging school facilities.
This $299 million bond would fund an addition at Lake Washington High School; a new elementary school in the Lake Washington Learning Community; the remodel or replacement and enlargement of Kamiakin Middle School; a choice high school in the Redmond or Eastlake Learning Community, the remodel or replacement and enlargement of Alcott Elementary School; the creation of special education learning spaces; land; and site-specific capital projects/contingency.
Why does the district need levies?
Every four years Lake Washington runs two levies: 1) Capital Projects Levy, and 2) Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy.
The Capital Projects Levy funds facility and technology needs not funded by the State. This levy funds facility needs such as: heating/ventilation systems; roofing replacement; athletic and playfield improvements; portables; and safety measures. It also funds technology needs such as infrastructure; network security; staff and student computers; instructional software; security cameras; communication and business systems; and staff training.
The Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy funds staff, programs, operations, and course offerings not funded by the State. This levy pays for certificated and classified staff needed for Special Education, Highly Capable, and English Learner programs. It funds substitutes, nurses, health room staff and campus security. The levy pays for athletics and extracurricular activities, the district’s New Teacher Support Program and professional learning for teachers and staff. The levy will fund a 7-period day for our high school students, to help meet the state-required 24 credit graduation requirement. The levy also helps fund Head Start, Ready Start, and Special Education preschool for the district’s youngest learners.
The Bond and Capital Projects Levy will maintain the current tax rate while the Educational Programs and Operations Levy will reduce the current tax rate. The total tax rate for all three measures will be reduced from the current amount of $3.16/$1000 of assessed value to $2.93/1000 of assessed value.
Building on Success
Lake Washington calls its long-term plan to continue to provide quality learning environments and experiences for its growing number of students and families, “Building on Success.” Please look for detailed information on the upcoming February 2018 bond and levies on the district website: http://www.lwsd.org/about-us/
About Lake Washington: Lake Washington School District is a high-performing public school district serving Kirkland, Redmond, and Sammamish, Washington. It is the third largest district in the state of Washington, with over 29,500 students in 52 schools.