Replacement educational maintenance and operations levy placed on February 13, 2018 special election ballot
THANK YOU VOTERS - The levy was approved with 71 percent in favor.
The Mercer Island School Board has unanimously approved an educational maintenance and operations levy proposition to be put to voters on the February 13, 2018 special election ballot. The four-year levy replaces the one that was passed by Mercer Island voters in 2014. This is not a new tax.
2017 rates were $1.22 per $1,000 of Assessed Value (AV). The District estimates that 2018 rates will be about $1.29 per $1,000 AV and that 2019 rates should be within the $.75-$.80 per $1,000 AV range, approximately a $.49 per $1,000 AV reduction. As the ballot states, the District may collect up to $1.00 per $1,000, but with the fluctuations in assessed value it is expected to be 75 to 80 cents.
If approved with a simple majority, the replacement levy would collect between $11.75 million and $12.75 million per year from 2019 to 2022 for educational programs and services beyond the state’s definition of basic education. It will continue to fund 20 percent of the Mercer Island School District general fund, including 38 percent of special education funding.
Under a new law passed by the Legislature in 2017, use of local levy dollars are limited to enrichments - those programs, activities and staffing beyond the basic state apportionment that are funded through local efforts, which includes the levy, Foundation, PTA, and other grants, donations and contributions.
With local funds, the District has accomplished much to enrich the student experience on Mercer Island, including:
• Establishing a seven-period day at the high school, which allows students to meet the 24-credit graduation requirement and take electives as well;
• Elementary K-5 Music, Art, PE and Spanish;
• Expanded electives at Mercer Island High School and Islander Middle School, including advanced science and fine arts courses beyond the traditional one-year sequences and classes not normally available to students, including the award-winning radio station at the high school;
• Smaller class sizes for focused sections for struggling students or in specific areas;
• Ongoing professional development opportunities for staff;
• Stipends for staff to offer additional opportunities for students, including after-school clubs and activities at all grade levels;
• Enhanced library collections;
• Online learning programs;
• Paraprofessional support in classrooms with overloads, additional special education students or English Language Learners, as well as student supervision and safety.
For more information on the Educational Maintenance and Operations Levy, contact Ty Bergstrom, executive director of finance, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballots will be mailed January 24, 2018 to all registered voters on Mercer Island. They must be returned by February 13. A drop box is available at the Mercer Island Community and Events Center.
Ballots will be mailed on January 24 and must be postmarked by February 13, 2018. There will be a ballot drop box located at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center, 8236 S.E. 24th St., open until 8 p.m. on February 13.
If you are not registered to vote, you may do so online at vote.wa.gov. You may also register in person at the King County Elections offices in Seattle or Renton up to eight days before the election. Call 206-296-VOTE (8683) or visit kingcounty.gov for more information.
Mercer Island School District No. 400
Proposition No. 1
Replacement Educational Maintenance and Operations Levy
The Board of Directors adopted Resolution No. 662 concerning educational funding. This proposition authorizes the District to levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy, on all taxable property within the District, to support the District’s educational maintenance and operations not funded or fully funded by the State: