The time has come to consider the renewal of the Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy. The expiration of this levy has come at an unfortunate time. A time during which people are dealing with health, work, personal, financial and education issues. And yet the questions about running a renewal levy must be addressed.
The ISD School Board and District are discussing a proposal for levies in 2022. Do you have an interest in this conversation? Questions? Comments? Then please pay attention to the District communications and the School Board meetings and the upcoming Sept. 30th School Board Town Hall.
The EP&O Renewal Levy Continues Support For: Career & Technical Education • Mental Health Counselors in our schools • Special Education • Early Childhood Learning • Safety and Security • Highly Capable Programs • Dual Language • After School Activities and Athletics • EAs and Teacher Substitutes
Here is some background for the discussion. ISD has had to ask the community to support district basic education and additional shortfalls with levies. The community, has repeatedly voted yes to support our own schools and students and pass the levies (and bonds that pay for new schools). Generally the district runs (3) levies at once: a 1-year Transportation Levy for buses as needed, a 1-year Technology Levy, and a 4-year EP&O Levy. The levies support service needs NOT provided for by state education funding and in order to maintain those services at the level the community expects then the levies need to be renewed.
However, in 2020 the state legislature and the McCleary Act were finally getting basic education money to school districts. So the school board and district made the decision to limit the 2020 levy renewal from a 4-year levy to a 2-year levy in order to help taxpayers and to see how the state basic education money would be able to pick up Issaquah School District needs thus being able to adjust future levy requests of the community. Then of course Covid hits in early 2020 and everyone worldwide including the District, School Board, teachers, students, staff and everyone involved with schools are in no win situations. Here is where we find ourselves, time to consider the renewal of a 2022 EP&O levy.