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Voters must backfill local school districts’ funding gap

Post by TNT Editorial Board / The News Tribune on Jan. 26, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
January 27, 2012 10:14 am

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

As the Washington Supreme Court pointed out earlier this month, the state is failing in its “paramount duty” to amply fund education. The court ordered the state Legislature to figure out how to resolve that situation.

By 2018.

It’s possible – though not probable – that lawmakers will come up with some new revenue source that provides everything local school districts need to educate children. Until that happy day, schools still need to repair and upgrade buildings, buy textbooks and computers, provide bus service, train staff and do a lot of other things that the money they get from the state doesn’t fully cover.

Several South Sound school districts are asking voters to replace expiring levies that make up from 15 to 30 percent of their revenues. Failure of these levies would be catastrophic, forcing districts to make deep cuts or dig into reserves that they’ve already tapped due to cutbacks from the state.

The News Tribune recommends passage of all these replacement levies on the Feb. 14 ballot, which should arrive in homes in the next few days.

• Auburn: four-year levy, $4.05 per $1,000 assessed value in 2013 increasing to $4.45 in 2016.

• Carbonado: four-year levy, $5.52 per $1,000 assessed value.

• Clover Park: four-year levy, $3.95 per $1,000 assessed value in 2012 dropping to $3.86 in 2015.

• Dieringer: two-year levy, $4.34 per $1,000 assessed value in 2012, $4.82 in 2013.

• Eatonville: four-year levy, $4.29 per $1,000 assessed value.

• Federal Way: two-year levy, $4.95 per $1,000 assessed value.

• Orting: two-year levy, $3.99 per $1,000 assessed value.

• Peninsula: four-year levy, $2.14 per $1,000 assessed value in 2012 increasing to $2.34 in 2015.

• Yelm: four-year levy, $3.71 per $1,000 assessed value in 2013, rising to $3.92 in 2016.

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