Battle Ground Public Schools is planning two evenings of in-person community information before its school sample test on November 2.
Voters in the district, which encompasses much of Clark County, from the Vancouver suburbs to Amboy and Yacolt, rejected a levy in February, with 52.42% of the 20,455 ballots marked “no.” Faced with the specter of cutting spending by up to $ 30 million over the next two years, the school board authorized a smaller sample test for November.
District officials say the levy currently before voters has a projected tax rate of $ 1.99 per $ 1,000 of assessed value for the four years and would collect less in 2022 and 2023 than the four-year levy expiring in 2021.
The expiring levy represented about 14% of the district’s budget in 2020-2021, or nearly $ 30 million. The levy funding provides for programs and personnel beyond what the state’s basic education model funds, according to a press release. For example, the state pays less than two nurses in a district with 18 schools.
The royalty funding also provides technology to students, music and arts programs, sports and extracurricular activities, advanced placement courses, textbooks and equipment, transportation and crossing guards, electives. , teaching assistants and the maintenance and operation of buildings. About 260 employees are paid in whole or in part with the money from the withdrawals.
In-person community information evenings are planned for:
- 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 28 at Prairie High School, 11311 NE 119th St.
- 6 p.m. Tuesday, October 12 at Yacolt Elementary School, 406 W. Yacolt Road.
A remote forum will be held via Zoom at 6 p.m. on Wednesday October 6.
District officials say Battle Ground public schools already offer the lowest total school tax rate of any district in Clark County. This rate would decrease further in 2022 if the replacement levy were to decrease from $ 2.32 per $ 1,000 of assessed value this year to $ 1.99 per $ 1,000 in 2022. The homeowner of a $ 450,000 worth would pay about $ 123 less in local school taxes next year. under the replacement tax.
In 2021, the overall local tax rate for Battle Ground was $ 2.88, including a construction bond that will expire at the end of 2023. This rate is more than a dollar lower than that of Evergreen Public Schools and nearly two dollars lower than the Camas school district.
Under state law, school levies need a simple majority to pass. Unlike other local school districts, obtaining this approval has always been difficult for Battle Ground. The district has experienced 11 collection failures since 1992.
For more information on the replacement tax, visit https://battlegroundps.org/levy.