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Lakewood School Board votes to put two levies on February ballot

On 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.

“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.”

How will these levies support students?

To continue to provide excellence in education for the students of our community, Lakewood is placing two levy measures on the ballot:

  1. Replacement Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy

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 teachers and support staff who are unfunded or not fully funded by the state, extracurricular activities and athletics, transportation, grounds and maintenance, technology, and special education.

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 expires in 2024.

  1. Capital Improvements and Safety Levy

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

In 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, which 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, fence installation, intercom system replacement at middle school, improving student drop-off/pickup traffic flow, and sidewalk repairs
  • Replace aging building systems like HVAC/heating systems, roofs, hot water systems, electrical, energy-efficient lighting and flooring
  • Required health and safety updates at our buildings

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

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