Shoreline Schools supplemental levy to support class size will appear on November ballot

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Shoreline School Board approved a resolution at its July 27 meeting placing a supplemental levy proposal to support class size in response to state budget reductions on the November 8, 2011 general election ballot.

The decision to place the supplemental levy on the ballot comes in the wake of the planned cuts to basic education in Shoreline of approximately $6.2 million annually.

Included in these cuts is $4.3 million in voter approved I-728 dollars used for class-size reduction, professional development of staff and extended learning opportunities for struggling students. Another $1.1 million in funding was cut in class-size reduction in grades K-4, funding which has been in place for more than 20 years. Finally, more than $770,000 was reduced in other areas, including salary compensation.

The impact of these reductions is magnified by the loss of federal stimulus funds for special education and Title I programs. In addition, the state has raised the retirement and health care costs to the District by approximately $865,000 over the next two years.

Even after having to supplement K-4 class size funding by using $600,000 in reserve funds this year, the District believes that it can sustain the current class size model for 2011-12. However, by 2012-13 more revenue would be required to maintain the current classroom staffing model.

Passage of Proposition No. 1 would allow the levy of $1.3 million of property taxes in 2012, the levy of $1.4 million in 2013, and $1.5 million in 2014. If authorized by the voters and based upon current assessed valuation information, the estimated levy rates per $1,000 of assessed value would be $0.09 in 2012; $0.09 in 2013 and $0.10 in 2014.

The measure would require a simple majority for passage. Current estimates suggest that such a measure would increase rates about $36 a year for a home valued at $400,000. Voters in the neighboring districts of Edmonds, Northshore and Seattle have approved similar supplemental levy measures in the past year.

--Shoreline School District


Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 9:39 AM  

Somhow I am not as moved to vote for this as in the past. The School District seems to have money to give all the students LAPTOPS...we see them for sale on craiglist and they claim they lost them....does this sound like the same food stamp fraud we hear about? More to the point this year they are giving all the students new Apple Tablets. Now most of these kids have I- phones with Internet access, and I am sure most have a computer somewhere in the home....and why are we spending our tax dollars on this in this type of economy? Anyone?

Think About Prevention,  July 29, 2011 at 10:48 AM  

Different pots of money fund technology. And no, all of the kids DON'T have iPhones with internet access. Shoreline has a wide variety of income levels, plus the teachers need to have all kids at an equal level of technology access - at least a minimum level - in order to utilize technology effectively for teaching and learning. The original laptop program was devised by the previous superintendent who wanted to make a name for himself; there was no thought towards sustainability. The iPads are significantly less expensive than laptops yet will still give kids access to technology for teaching and learning. Many textbooks are now moving towards digital editions accessible via the iPads, so the HS kids won't always have to haul home tons of books and will also have access to the latest editions.
This levy has to do with class size - not technology, and is most crucial to the elementary grades. It is being run to make up for what the state is not funding anymore. Teachers have taken pay cuts and given up benefits in order to protect crucial student programs, but there is no more that can be cut to protect class sizes from going out of control. Do you think first graders are going to be learning to read very well in classes of 32-35? Class sizes go up, kids learn less, are less engaged, and are more likely to dropout. Dropouts cost the economy lots of money in social services and incarceration costs. Better to pay a small amount now to prevent those increased costs later.

Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 12:38 PM  

The school district in the last levy/bond in February 2010 stated that your property taxes would not go up, however, they did.

The school district was fully aware the stimulus funds were not permanent, so why didn't they plan for their eventual loss? Furthermore, the school district was fully aware that the state was bleeding money yet didn't plan adequately for the loss of those funds as well.

So, after raising property taxes (when they clearly stated the last bond/levy would not) added together with new city property taxes, how much more can people continue to pay? The Seattle Metro Area has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the US, unemployment is rising, and local government keeps on asking for more.

BTW, how many local jobs did those two new high schools create? That was supposed to be a big selling point in the bond -- did they hire local Shoreline residents?

Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 5:58 PM  

I understand differnt pots of money...but they all come from the same place. Taxpayers, home and property owners. The I-pads are maybe $50 cheaper than a laptop and don't do as much and do all these poor families have INTERNET ACCESS at HOME????? Why not give the kids that cannot afford them last years laptops? BTW the back packs still look just as heavy as they use to. A big no vote from me. I am all for educating kids, but if students would pay attention and sit still, not create outbursts in class, 35-40 would not be unreasonable. If students can't speak English then they need to learn before they attend regular classes. Why are we mollycoddling all these children? They need to learn that in the real world they don't get everything they want and that they need to work for things that they want, they aren't handed things in the real world. If caught seeling these on craiglist, they need to be procecuted, or are we teaching them stealing and fraud is ok too?

Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 6:05 PM  

How about any parent or anyone that wants to contribute....send in your checks.
Not making it mandatory to put the government hand in all our pockets. Parents could always learn to disciple their own children to pay attention in class and not disrupt class.

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