Voters approve Port Angeles School District replacement levy

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles School District voters have approved a $5.6 million education programs and operations replacement levy set to begin in 2022.

A simple 50-percent-plus-1 majority was required to pass the measure on Tuesday’s general election ballot.

The levy rate will stay at the current $1.50 per $1,000 of valuation to continue paying for music education, athletics, special education services and student support services such as nurses and counselors, all expenditures not covered by state funding.

It is a renewal of the levy approved by voters in 2017, which will expire at the end of 2021.

“I feel it goes without saying that the district is really thankful the community continues to support our students and our schools,” said Jennifer Sperline, Port Angeles School District communications and community relations coordinator.

“We know this time is really different for a lot of different families in our community and we thank voters for having that foresight that in 2022 the world is looking very different and we can continue to provide the programs that the Port Angeles community loves to support, our music, education and athletics.”

According to a school district pie chart, music, nurses, counselors, mental health support and a school navigator account for 49 percent of levy funding; and athletics and extracurricular activities, 30 percent.

Staff needs “outside of the prototypical models for tech, maintenance, etc.” account for 30 percent; special education, including staff support and other needs, 5.6 percent; and technology hardware for a replacement budget for Chromebooks and other technology, 3.5 percent.

Sperline said the district was mindful of asking for too much financial support with the replacement levy after district voters approved a five-year, $52.6 million capital levy to replace Stevens Middle School last February.

“I think the district understood the lay of the land and what everyone is facing that goes beyond the school with COVID, economic issues, job losses,” Sperline said. “It was understood people may not be able to support this levy. Every four years the district comes to the community with an ask, and Superintendent (Marty) Brewer, staff and the school board decided to make that less of an ask this time.”

The $5.6 million includes levy equalization money that goes to districts with lower property taxes than the state average.

Sperline said fifth- and sixth-graders would begin returning to their classrooms under a hybrid model on Monday.

“We are really excited to have that element of students getting back to class, and with the levy results, it feels good to be gaining some momentum,” Sperline said.

By the numbers

PASD levy

Approve: 61 percent

Oppose: 40 percent

Totals are as of 4 p.m. Wednesday.

________

Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in Politics

Mike Chapman.
Housing discussed at update

Tharinger, Chapman talk about legislation

House, Senate release spending proposals

Supplemental budgets to be negotiated

Plan to cap how much landlords can raise rent moves ahead

Statewide caps on annual rent increases could take effect in… Continue reading

State House approves unemployment benefits for strikers

Workers who are on strike or locked out of their… Continue reading

Chapman explains votes

Rep. Mike Chapman was among the few Democrats who voted… Continue reading

Democrats Franz, Randall stockpile cash in battle for US House position

Cash is flowing into campaign coffers of two Democrats dueling for an… Continue reading

Ruling: Trump to stay on primary ballot

Eight voters argued Jan. 6 actions made him ineligible

Should police be allowed to engage in high-speed pursuits if they just suspect someone is engaged in a crime? The state Legislature is set to debate that issue following verification of a citizen initiative that gives police more leeway in decision making. (Mary Murphy/Washington State Journal)
State Legislature to debate high-speed police pursuits

Initiative 2113 would amend law to be ‘reasonable suspicion’

State officials turn to schools in opioid fight

Legislation would require fentanyl-use prevention education once per year

Eight voters challenge Trump on Washington state ballot

Kitsap judge to hear arguments Tuesday

Nisqually Tribal Chairman Willie Frank III, right, discusses the newly designed statue mockup of his father, Billy Frank Jr., with other attendees at Wednesday’s unveiling. A full-scale, bronze statue of Billy Frank Jr. will be placed in the U.S. Capitol’s National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., next year. (Laurel Demkovich/Washington State Standard)
Design unveiled for Billy Frank Jr. statue at U.S. capitol

Bronze rendering will honor Native American fishing rights activist