Posted by Michael
Hundreds of school levy volunteers are breathing a sigh of relief today.
Last night’s levy results show that the education community’s victory in November is making a huge difference for thousands of students across the state.
While many communities continue to approve their levies at rates above the old 60 percent standard, a large number of levies passed thanks to the new 50 percent simple majority requirement.
School leaders, educators, parents and students in places like Kennewick, Ellensburg, and Centralia will not have to brace themselves for a costly and time consuming second levy attempt. Instead, they can continue to focus on educating students.
We’ll be holding our breath for close elections around the state, especially in Thurston County where the North Thurston, Rochester and Yelm school districts are hovering just below 50 percent. Late-arriving ballots do tend to favor school levy elections.
For bond elections, the supermajority requirement continues to thwart our schools. Only two out of five bond proposals are passing as of Tuesday night. In Lake Chelan, the bond is passing with just over 61 percent. This shows that every vote is especially important for school bond elections.
While simple majority saved the day for many school districts, the League of Education Voters is confident school supporters will not take this election for granted.
And we’ve not lost sight on what’s at stake.
A large part of the success of our state’s students and schools comes from levy funding. That’s because the state continues to NOT fully fund basic education services.
The League of Education Voters would like to see a new K-12 finance system adopted next year that fully funds basic education and returns levies to their intended purpose of funding school enrichment programs.