At the December board meeting, the school board passed resolutions to run a replacement Maintenance & Operations Levy (M&O) and a new Technology/Safety Levy on the February ballot before Cascade voters.
Below is an “FAQ” to help our voters with questions about school finance and levies:
HOW DO PUBLIC SCHOOLS RECEIVE FUNDING FOR OPERATIONS?
Public schools receive funding from six sources:
• State allocations based on per student enrollment 55%
• State funding for special programs 15%
• Federal funding for special programs 7%
• Local M&O voted levies 20%
• Fee collection for programs and food services 3%
M&O LEVY (Proposition #1)
WE JUST PASSED A LARGE BOND IN 2015, WHY IS THE DISTRICT ASKING FOR MONEY FOR MAINTENANCE & OPERATIONS?
Great question! The bond that passed in 2015 was specifically to build and/or modernize three schools in the district: Cascade High School, Alpine Lakes Elementary, and Peshastin-Dryden Elementary.
Legally a bond can only be used for construction, modernization, or upgrades to
buildings – not the maintenance and
operation of those buildings. Levy funds
are used for the day-to-day maintenance and operating costs and may also be
used for a wide variety of program and instructional purposes.
Bonds are for buildings and levies are for learning.
I THOUGHT WE JUST PASSED A FOUR-YEAR
M&O LEVY SEVERAL YEARS AGO. WHY ARE WE DOING THIS AGAIN?
Yes, the M&O was passed by our voters four years ago and will expire at the end of 2017. This is a replacement levy and not a new tax.
The M&O Levy in our district pays for:
Levies and bonds approve a dollar amount and never increase without a vote of the people regardless of how much your property value increases.
THE STATE LEGISLATURE NOW ALLOWS DISTRICTS TO RUN M&O
LEVIES FOR 28% OF THEIR OPERATING BUDGET.
WHY IS CASCADE’s BELOW THAT PERCENTAGE?
Maintaining at a lower rate would prevent the need to layoff staff and reduce programs should the legislature roll the levy lid back.
TECHOLOGY/SAFETY LEVY (Proposition #2)
THE COMMUNITY SUPPORTED A TECHNOLOGY LEVY SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I THOUGHT WE ALREADY BOUGHT ALL THE EQUIPMENT THAT WAS NECESSARY?
The voters approved a technology levy in 2012 to purchase wireless access equipment for all schools, networking equipment, upgraded servers, creating computer labs, new desktop/laptop computers for teachers, and iPads for students at Peshastin-Dryden Elementary.
WHAT KIND OF SAFETY TECHNOLOGY WILL THE LEVY PURCHASE FOR
For the safety of our students and security of our schools, the new buildings will have access controlled locks, lockdown hardware and software, cellular amplifiers, and recording surveillance cameras. In order to upgrade Beaver Valley, Discovery, and Icicle River Middle School with the same systems as the new schools, a small portion of the technology/safety levy dollars will be used for this purpose.
HOW MUCH WILL THIS TECHNOLOGY/SAFETY LEVY COST ME?
The technology/safety levy will generate $350,000 annually and may only be spent on technology, software, IT personnel, and training for staff. The taxpayers of our district will pay $.15/$1,000 of assessed property value. A property value of $350,000 will pay $4.38/month or $52.50/year. For a complete levy explanation and taxation table please access our website at www.cascadesd.org/Page/1542.
WILL I RECEIVE ANY FURTHER INFORMATION BEFORE ELECTION
Yes, additional fliers will be sent by mail with detailed information regarding the two levies that will be on the ballot in February. Ballots will arrive by mail on or around January 27, 2017. If you would like more information, please visit the Parent/Community page or phone our Superintendent, Bill Motsenbocker at 548-5885.
STUDENT DATA VERIFICATION - ALL STUDENTS / ALL BUILDINGS
MAKING PAYMENTS ONLINE - HOW TO
Our families now have the ability to pay for fees (any sports participation fees, ASB cards, yearbooks, and food services, etc) online through family access! You can do this anytime. There is a $1.75 convenience fee per “cart”.
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