On April 26, there will be an election to determine the fate of three levies proposed by the Issaquah School District (ISD). The current levies will expire on Dec. 31, so they need to be renewed.
The Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) levy and Capital levy are being renewed, while the Transportation levy is net new. If approved by voters, all three levies will help provide funding to the district through the end of 2026.
ISD puts these levies up for voting because state funding cannot completely cover the costs of district operations, so additional dollars from property taxes are needed.
The EP&O levy supports many school activities not funded by the state government, such as student services, academic programs, and support services. Student services range from salaries for nurses, teachers, and counselors to sports and extracurricular activities. Academic programs consist of special education, dual-language, and summer school programs. Support services include school maintenance and safety, as well as partial funding for student transport.
The Capital levy provides funding for routine safety checkups in schools, ensuring all students, teachers, and classrooms have access to technology, and the building of a fourth high school. The new high school will be located at the former location of Providence Heights College at the south end of 228th Ave SE. Its approximate completion date is Sept. 2024.
The new Transportation levy is one-year long and covers the purchase of 64 replacement buses that will go into service between 2023 and 2026. The total cost of the buses is approximately $9.25 million. However, the levy would only cover $3 million of the cost, while the remaining $6.25 million will come from state funding.
“I believe this money is essential for the district to continue functioning at the level of service that our students need – and at the level that our community expects,” said superintendent Ron Thiele on Feb. 11, right after the school board approved the levies.
Currently property taxes are at $3.39 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. If all three levies are passed, taxes will increase by approximately 5% to $3.56 for every $1,000 of assessed value.
Citizens must be registered by April 18 in order to be eligible to vote in this election. Go here to register to vote.