LWSD to place bond, two levies on Feb. 13 ballot

  • Friday, October 27, 2017 3:25pm
  • News

Lake Washington School District is planning three ballot measures for the Feb. 13, 2018 election.

The measures are a bond (the second of four planned bonds), a replacement Capital Projects Levy and a replacement Educational Programs and Operations levy. A recommendation was presented to the board of directors on Oct. 2 and they formally approved the bond and levies at the Oct. 16 board meeting.

LWSD is rapidly growing. Current 2018 enrollment is 29,572 students. This year marks the tenth straight year of enrollment growth and Lake Washington is now the third-largest district in Washington. From 2010-17, 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 2029-30 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.

Every four years LWSD runs two levies: A Capital Projects levy and an Educational Programs and Operations 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 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 seven-period day for high school students to help meet the state’s 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/$1,000 of assessed value to $2.93/$1,000 of assessed value.

LWSD 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.” For detailed information on the upcoming February 2018 bond and levies, visit www.lwsd.org/about-us/2018-bond-and-levies.

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