In 2016, a median priced home in Evergreen Public Schools will pay approximately $912.00 towards the levy. If the levy is approved, that same homeowner will pay an estimated $948.00 in 2017, $986.00 in 2018, and $1,025.00 in 2019. Over the three year period of the levy, the homeowner of a median priced home will see their levy tax rate increase on average less than 4 percent annually.
For 2016, Evergreen’s maintenance and operations levy tax rate is $3.51 per thousand of assessed value. The levy rate is determined by the total amount of levy dollars to be collected (limited by state law) and the total assessed value of property within Evergreen Public Schools’ boundaries.
The total property value for a school district (assessed valuation) directly impacts the tax rate for recommended levies and bonds. In general, the higher the assessed value, the lower the property tax rate will be for a replacement levy or bond. The higher the industrial assessed value in a school district, the lower the tax burden will be on residential property owners. Evergreen Public Schools has a relatively low industrial assessed value.
Despite having a lower levy tax rate than Evergreen Public Schools; Vancouver School District will collect more levy tax dollars than Evergreen Public Schools. This is because Vancouver has a higher total assessed value.
The total school tax rate represents the combined total of the replacement levy and previously approved school construction bonds. The replacement levy rate is determined by the total amount of levy dollars to be collected (limited by state law) and the total assessed value of property within Evergreen Public Schools’ boundaries. The total property value for a school district (assessed valuation) directly impacts the tax rate for replacement levies and bonds. In general, the higher the assessed value, the lower the property tax rate will be for a replacement levy or bond.
Where does Evergreen Public Schools get its money?
Funds to pay for the day-to-day operations of Evergreen’s 37 schools are budgeted in the general fund. The primary revenue sources of the general fund are the Washington state general fund, local property taxes (school levies), federal sources and other sources such as fines, fees and donations. More than 40 percent of the state’s general fund is spent on public schools. The legislature devotes this much to K-12 education because Washington’s constitution declares that it is the legislature’s “paramount duty to make ample provision for the general and uniform system of public schools.”
Since our last levy, you may have heard about the Washington Supreme Court’s “McLeary Case.” The decision in this case compels the state legislature to fully fund K-12 education.
While the legislature is still working to fulfill those funding requirements, the state is still no close to closing the gap between current funding and what it actually costs to provide basic education. The legislature is currently being held in contempt of court and is subject to a daily fine of $100,000 for not providing that funding. This levy will cover the gap between what the state funds and what it actually costs to maintain vital educational programs, including programs beyond core academics.
The amount a school district receives from the state is largely determined by the number of students enrolled and the education and experience level of its teaching staff. School districts with a high percentage of teachers with advanced degrees and/or a high percentage of experienced staff will receive more money per pupil. Evergreen pays its teachers based on a statewide salary schedule. Another factor that determines the level of state funding received is the number of students enrolled in the following programs: special education, English as a second language, learning assistance and remedial education, career and technical education, and highly capable (EXCEL). Separate funds are also allocated for students who receive bus transportation or receive free/reduced meal prices.
Local levy dollars are collected to fund the difference between state funding and the actual cost of providing educational services. Referred to as a “maintenance and operations” or “replacement” levy, the total amount of levy dollars public schools can collect is limited by state law. For Evergreen Public Schools, levy dollars collected cannot be more than 28 percent of its revenue base (the combined total of state and federal revenues). Levies may be approved for one, two, three or four years. To receive levy dollars, school districts must receive at least 50 percent “Yes” votes from its voters. On the February 9, 2016 ballot, Evergreen Public Schools is asking voters to approve a three-year levy. This levy will replace a previously voter-approved levy (from 2012) that is due to expire at the end of the 2016 calendar year.
Funds collected to pay for school construction and modernization are budgeted in the capital projects fund. Voter-approved bonds, state matching funds and impact fees are the revenue sources for this fund. Evergreen Public Schools last passed a capital construction bond in 2002.
Funds to purchase new school buses for growth or to replace old buses are budgeted in the transportation vehicle fund. Primary revenue sources for this fund are state bus depreciation funds, voter-approved levies and transfers from other funds. Evergreen Public Schools’ voters have not approved a transportation levy since 1994. To help pay for needed buses, Evergreen Public Schools has shifted dollars out of the general fund for the last several years and will continue to do so.
Due to the high cost of school construction and school buses, these items are budgeted separately from the operating fund, similar to how a new home or car purchase is separately funded.
How much is spent on average each year per student?
For 2014-15, Evergreen Public Schools spent $9,800 per student. This figure includes all direct costs associated with a student’s education (including daily instruction, transportation, school meals, education, and extracurricular activities) and all indirect costs such as school building management and school security, maintenance, lighting, heating, curriculum development and business support services. Per school day, the total expenditure (including direct and indirect costs) per student is about $54.
How much is spent on administration?
On average, the costs for administrative expenditures per student was $434 for the 2014-15 school year, and includes costs associated with central support services. Specific central services include Evergreen Public Schools’ Board of Directors, Superintendent’s office, business office, personnel, instructional oversight (elementary/secondary instruction, educational technology, special education, teacher training). Per school day, the total administrative cost per student is about $2.41 per day, based on a 180 day school year.
What is the total school tax rate and how is it determined?
For 2016, Evergreen’s estimated maintenance and operations levy tax rate is $3.51 per thousand of assessed value. The levy rate is determined by the total amount of levy dollars to be collected (limited by state law) and the total assessed value of property within Evergreen Public Schools’ boundaries.
The 2016 total school property tax rate is estimated to be $5.53 per one thousand of assessed value. The total school tax rate represents the combined total of the replacement levy and previously approved school construction bonds.
The total property value for a school district (assessed valuation) directly impacts the tax rate for school levies and bonds. In general, the higher the assessed valuation, the lower the property tax rate will be for a school levy or bond.
The higher the industrial assessed value in a district, the lower the tax burden on residential property owners. Evergreen Public Schools has a relatively low industrial assessed valuation. Due to inequities in the tax base among school districts in Clark County, Evergreen Public Schools’ Board of Directors has long advocated for an increase in industrial development (and a corresponding decrease in residential development). The ultimate legal authority for land use planning resides with the Clark County Board of Commissioners.
Where to Find Additional Information
For more information about the Replacement Levy or Evergreen Public Schools, please call the Community Relations Department at 604-4088. In addition, the following resources are available:
District Election Hotline: 604-4134
On our hotline, you will hear a recorded message and be asked to leave your name, phone number and question(s). The hotline is monitored each business day and questions will be referred to someone who will return your call within one business day.
District Website: www.evergreenps.org
Our election homepage contains information on the amount of the levy, what the replacement levy pays for and election/voting information.
You may contact the district via email at the above address and we will respond to any questions you may have. District staff checks email messages at least once every school day.