SCHOOL REPLACEMENT LEVY INFORMATION
Ballots must be postmarked by Feb 11
WHAT IS A SCHOOL LEVY?
A local school levy is a request from the school district to its citizens to help fund a portion of the cost of public education through local taxes that the State does not pay for. Levies are set for specific time periods and must be replaced to be maintained. This is a levy to replace our current levy which expires in 2020.
The locally elected school board, who has the responsibility for the financial management of the school district determines the levy amount and the date of the election. Based on community survey results, the Brewster Board of Directors have set an educational programs and maintenance replacement levy for submittal to local voters. More information below . . .
The replacement levy will look like the following:
2021 $1.75/1000 $932,940
2022 $2.00/1000 $1,144,955
2023 $2.25/1000 $1,384,679
2024 $2.25/1000 $1,488,530
Many of our programs are funded by levy dollars.
This school levy is the same levy that voters have supported for basic educational programs and operations on a yearly basis. The current levy expires on December 31, 2020 and the district must seek voter approval to replace the current levy for 2021-2024 school years. Based on voter survey results, the community felt a four-year levy would be better than a two-year levy.
Why is a Special Levy Needed?
Levy funds support portions of the Brewster School District educational program not funded by the state. We must also continue to address maintenance of our grounds and the replacement of equipment. Due to the legislative decisions made a couple of years ago, the legislature changed the way schools were funded. As a result of those changes, the district has had a reduction of almost $500,000 to fund the programs listed. A local levy is the only way to fund those programs.
Examples of programs not funded by the state include:
Academic elective classes
What Will Happen If The Levy Does Not Pass?
With the passing of the levy, the state will match with an estimated $672,176 in revenue. If the levy fails, the district will not receive the matching funds, and there would be a loss of over $1,500,000 to the district. The district applies for several competitive grants each year in an effort to obtain additional funding for special projects and educational opportunities. Grants are designed to provide supplemental or start-up funds for identified needs, rather than the continuous funding of a program or service. To date the district has brought in over $5 million in grant money in the last six years. However, since there is no state support of items listed in the levy, the state expects them to be funded at the local level. If this levy fails, our school will face reductions in staff, educational programs and extra-curricular programs. It would mean the loss of over $1.5 million dollars to the district, which is designated to fund all of the programs listed above.
Are Senior Citizens Exempt From Special Levy Taxes?
You may qualify for an exemption from all or part of your property tax on your residence if you meet the following qualifications:
1. You are at least 61 years of age or permanently disabled (unable to pursue an occupation).
2. You own and occupy a house, mobile home or unit of a cooperative housing association.
3. You and your spouse have a combined disposable income (including social security) of $40,000 or less.
To obtain an application contact the County Assessor Office or to find out more, contact the Okanogan or Douglas County Assessor Office. Okanogan - 509-422-7190 Douglas – 509-745-8521
When And Where Do I Vote?
Ballots will be mailed on January 24, 2020, they must be post marked by February 11, 2020. The Election is certified on February 25, 2020.
How Do I Register To Vote?
You can call the Brewster School District to assist you with voter registration at 509-689-3418. You can also call the County Assessor’s office to find out more information. Okanogan - 509-422-7190 and Douglas – 509-745-8521. You can register online by going to the County Assessor’s website. https://voter.votewa.gov/WhereToVote.aspx#/login
Who do I contact if I have a question?
Eric Driessen, Superintendent 509-689-3418, ext. 1257
Linda Dezellem, High School Principal 509-689-3449, ext. 4419
Greg Austin, Middle School Principal/AD 509-689-3440, ext. 3110
Lynnette Blackburn, Elementary Principal 509-689-2581, ext. 2607
School Board Members
Don Becker 509-689-2941
Mario Camacho 509-689-0579
Hector Aparicio 509-689-0982
Maria Maldonado 509-689-0618