WE ARE LAKEWOOD: 2024 Education Levies

WE ARE LAKEWOOD
  • February 23 election update

    With the sunshine we have experienced the past couple of days it is a sure sign that spring is right around the corner. In the spirit of looking forward, I wanted to provide you with an update of our February 13 official election results and the school board study session and meeting that occurred Wednesday night. Both of our levies failed to meet the 50%+ 1 passing threshold in last Tuesday’s election, with the EP&O receiving 48.34% “yes” votes (falling short of passing by 115 votes) and the Capital levy receiving 48.85% “yes” votes (falling short of passing by 80 votes). The school board met Wednesday night to discuss the levy results and options available regarding future ballot measures. With the EP&O levy comprising 14% of our General fund revenues and a large proportion of this budget being directly tied to staffing, there was discussion in the study session about the April ballot as an option for this measure. In addition, study session discussion about the Capital levy included a review of the preservation, maintenance, safety and security needs and possible time frames for re-running these ballot measures.

    During the board meeting, which followed the study session, our board voted to approve both the EP&O and Capital Improvements and Safety levy resolutions for submission to Snohomish County and inclusion on the April 23 ballot. James Peckham, Executive Director of Finance, submitted our paperwork for the filing to the county yesterday, and we are moving forward with running both levies again this spring in the April election. While this is a tight timeline, I know that we will continue to work together as a community to share information about both these levy measures, answer questions when they arise, and encourage one another to participate in the democratic voting process.

    Please know that district staff will be working over the next couple of weeks to update literature and will work to schedule presentations across the district and our community. In addition, we are grateful for the feedback we have already been receiving via the survey (reminder it closes on Monday 2/26 at noon) on what we can learn from our two recent levy failures and ideas for next steps in sharing information with our community. We are in this together and we will continue to share our message and advocate for our district.

    All my best,
    Erin

    Dr. Erin Murphy, Superintendent
    Lakewood School District

  • Two local levies for educational programs, capital projects, safety and security

    quoteOn Wednesday, November 1, the Lakewood School District Board of Directors voted to place two levies on the February 13, 2024 ballot. Both levies are four-year levies, with collections in 2025-2028.

    The two measures in the February 13 election would support funding for teaching, mental health supports, technology, safety and security, capital facilities improvements, athletics, and activities in Lakewood School District.

    “These levies are not only an investment in our schools, they are an investment in Lakewood’s future,” said Dr. Erin Murphy, Superintendent. “They provide students with the resources and programs they need to thrive and become future community leaders.”

    Local levies fill the gap between what the state funds for K-12 education and what students receive on their educational journey through Lakewood schools. They fund staff positions such as nurses, counselors, paraeducators, teachers and a future school resource officer (SRO). They also fund athletics, extracurricular activities, technology upgrades and support of existing technology. Levies help maintain district investments in our schools through required facilities upgrades and improvements, such as electrical and fire safety improvements, HVAC equipment, and energy-efficiency upgrades.

    General Fund Revenue  

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  • Local Funding for Local Priorities

    The money Lakewood collects from local, voter-approved education levies stays in our district. We use these funds to provide the quality of education that our students and families expect, and to ensure our students have safe, welcoming schools that support student success.


     

    Renewal Levy for Educational Programs and Operations 

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    Learn More: Renewal Educational Programs & Operations Levy
    images of students and teachers

    This levy would replace the current EP&O levy, which represents about 14% of the district’s operating budget. It ensures that our students have continued access to staff who will support their academic, physical and mental health needs. Examples of these costs include:

    1. Teaching + Support
    2. Special Education
    3. Athletics + Activities
    4. Technology + Operations
    5. Professional Development

    The EP&O levy fills the gap between what the state funds for basic education and what our students and schools need. The current Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy will expire in 2024. 

    Learn more about how this levy supports students. 

    How much will it cost?

    Educational Programs & Operations Levy  

     


    Capital Improvements and Safety Levy

    hammer and wrench
    Learn More: Capital Improvements and Safety Levyimages of school projects

    This levy funds facility maintenance and preservation needs not funded by the state, helping ensure our students have healthy school buildings for learning.

    CFACIn 2023, a district Citizens’ Facilities Advisory Committee, comprised of parents, staff, and community volunteers, visited schools in the district to develop short- and long-term recommendations for capital improvements. As part of the committee’s Study and Survey, a team of architects and engineers toured the district’s schools in spring 2023 and compiled their findings in the state schools building condition database. For its short-term recommendations, the committee focused on (1) ongoing preservation and maintenance of district facilities and systems, and (2) improvements to district safety and security.

    Examples of projects recommended by the committee that would be funded by this levy include:

    • Health and safety improvements such as access control systems with lockdown functionality at all schools, updated fire alarm systems, improved site security with fencing, communication infrastructure improvements, improved student drop-off/pickup traffic flow, and improved ADA handicap access.
    • Replace aging building systems like HVAC/heating systems, hot water systems, electrical, energy-efficient lighting and flooring.

    The district’s previous levy for capital improvements expired in 2020.

    Learn more about the projects this levy would fund to support student health and safety.

    How much will it cost?

    Capital Improvements and Safety Levy

     


    Remember to vote by February 13, 2024. Need to register or update your voter information? Visit votewa.gov. Ballots must be postmarked by February 13 (no stamp needed) or received in a ballot dropbox by 8 p.m. on February 13. 

    January 25 Local ballots mailed
    February 5 Last day for voters to register or update voter information online
    February 13
    Election Day
    Last day for voters to register or update voter information in person

    Last day for voters to return voted ballot
    February 23
    County canvassing board certifies the county election results

     


  • Info Session Recording

    Info session with superintendent
    Watch a video from the levy info session on Zoom. 

  • Register to Vote

    Remember to vote by February 13, 2024.

    Need to register or update your voter information? Visit votewa.gov. Ballots must be postmarked by February 13 (no stamp needed) or received in a ballot dropbox by 8 p.m. on February 13. Residents can register to vote online up to one week before Election Day or in person up to and on Election Day. For more information, visit the Snohomish County website.

    Property Tax Exemptions and Income Threshold Changes

    Some senior and disabled homeowners may be eligible for reduced property tax rates or exemptions. Income thresholds for these programs are changing in 2024. To learn more, call the Snohomish County Assessor's Office at (425) 388-3433 or visit their website.

  • Levy Presentation Request

    Is your group interested in learning more about Lakewood School District's April 26, 2022 Renewal Levy for Technology and Facilities? Let us know!


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why are local EP&O levies needed? Doesn’t the state fully fund schools?

  • Does the EP&O levy pay for staff positions above what the state funds?

  • What is a replacement levy?

  • If property values go up, do local schools get more funding?

  • Does the School District receive sales tax revenue from stores?

  • How were projects for the Capital Improvements and Safety Levy determined?

  • How will Lakewood's rapid growth be addressed?

  • Did Lakewood receive federal funds to cover pandemic expenses?