EP& O Supplemental School Levy

Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Supplemental Levy

On Tuesday, November 3, voters in Puyallup School District will be asked to consider an Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Supplemental Levy that would generate a maximum amount of $37 million over two years to help sustain school district operations.

Why now?  Now is different.
The Puyallup School District is facing a significant budget deficit of $39.6 million over the next three years. Although the District has recently made significant administration and department reductions, the current school year alone has a $20 million deficit. This supplemental levy will help to minimize, not eliminate, the impact of our budget deficit.

Why is there such a large deficit?
   
 Puyallup receives less funding per student than neighboring districts who receive between $395 to $1,717 more per student
   •
 Unanticipated 6% reduction in enrollment and additional expenditures required due to the pandemic
 
 •  Facility costs, as well as staff costs remain unchanged
 
  Unemployment claims supporting furloughed staff

92% of all school districts in WA State

COVID-19 changes everything.

COVID-related expenditures are ongoing and currently equate to approximately $5.6 million.

Puyallup has been forced to reimagine education and shift from traditional instruction to distance learning and partial in-person instruction. Here’s a breakdown of expenditures required to support health and safety protocols in our schools:

   • Supplies (hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, thermometers, disinfectant sprayers)
 
 • Personal protective equipment (face masks, safety gloves, signage, office shields)
   
 Staff (additional staff to assist health and safety requirements, state-required COVID School Coordinators, health assistants, and custodial staff)
   
 Distance Learning (K-3 computers and accessories, hotspots, reopening schools curriculum planning and development)

Local levies are vital
Local levies play a vital role in filling the gap between state and federal funding and the actual cost of providing critical services to students. Voter-approved levies are the only way to bridge funding gaps.

What levy dollars help fund:
   
• Highly trained teachers and instructional aides. The most significant cost covered by the Educational Programs and Operations Levy is staffing and compensation. Competitive salaries are critical because they allow Puyallup to compete for and hire highly qualified teachers and support staff.
   •
 Safe, clean, and optimum learning environments for students and staff to ensure schools are healthy settings and run efficiently
 
 • Nurses and mental health resources
   
 Reasonable class sizes as we gradually reopen schools
 
 • Textbooks and learning materials
   
 Music, arts, and athletic programs

 Why aren’t existing levies enough?
The State funds K-12 education inequitably. Puyallup’s staff salaries are comparable to our surrounding districts, but the state provides us 6% less funding for salaries than most of our neighbors. On average the state pays about 85% of staff salaries.

How Puyallup schools are funded

What would the levy cost?

The total tax rate change for a $400,000 home would be $16 per month.

If approved, this two-year levy would supplement the existing levy which voters approved in 2018.  The existing total tax rate is $3.83 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The proposed levy is expected to increase the total tax rate to $4.32 per $1,000 in 2021. That is a net .49 cent increase.

The total EP&O levy rates cannot exceed $2.50 and the total collections will not exceed $17.8M in 2021 and $19.2M in 2022.

Neighboring District Tax ate Comparison

Puyallup Tax Rate History

What is on the November 3 ballot?

Educational Programs and Operations Levy

If approved by voters, Proposition No. 1 would authorize the District to levy excess taxes for funding to sustain our current educational programs to meet student needs beyond what the state funds. The levy would fund day-to-day operations in all neighborhood schools including classroom teachers, instructional aides, nurses, textbooks and learning materials, reasonable class sizes, support technology, arts, music and athletic programs, maintain school playgrounds/playfields, heating, plumbing, health, safety, fire-alarm, and security systems in our schools.

Collection Year

Approximate Levy Rate Per $1,000 Assessed Valuation

Levy Amount

2021

$0.76

$17,849,127

2022

$0.76

$19,225,189

 

 

 


Tax Exemptions

Exemptions from taxes may be available to certain homeowners. To determine if you qualify, call the Pierce County Assessor at (253) 798-6111.

Register, then vote by Nov. 3, 2020, all drop boxes close at 8 p.m.

For more information
Phone:  Puyallup School District Communications (253) 841-8703
Email:  communications@puyallup.k12.wa.us
Attend:  Informational Town Hall via Zoom, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
YouTube:  Informational Town Hall Recording Oct. 21 

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