Naches Valley School District
Great Schools = Great Communities
School Operations (M&O)Levy and
Bond to build a New K-4 Elementary School
Frequently Asked Questions
On February 14, 2012, Naches Valley School District is seeking voter approval to
1) replace the districts expiring School Operating (M&O) Levy.
2) support a Bond to build a new Elementary School in Naches, replacing the Primary School and the Intermediate School, to buy land and make improvements at our High School, Middle School, and bus barn facilities.
What is an Operation (M&O) Levy and what does it fund?
The Operating Levy funds essential educational programs and activities. State and federal dollars do not fully fund the day-to-day operations of Washington schools. Each year, the state continues to reduce the amount of funding provided to school districts, while increasing the amount of education funding that districts must ask local voters to provide. This replacement levy would fund:
· Staff that are invested in the students and make learning a priority
· Maintaining class size
· Textbooks and teaching materials
· Learning support programs for struggling students
· School bus transportation
· School building cleaning and custodial work
· Extracurricular activities such as music, drama, and athletics
What happens if the Operation Levy does not pass?
The Board would be required to make program and staff cuts and adjustments in order to balance the budget. The loss of over $2 million of levy funding would have a devastating impact on staff and on student programs and opportunities.
What is a Bond and what does it fund?
A Bond funds major repairs and construction. Approving a bond allows the School Board to borrow money needed to buy land, construct a new school and repair and renovate older schools. That money is then paid off over the next twenty years. This Bond is needed because:
· The HVAC systems and electrical systems in our Primary School and Intermediate School are at the end of their life. While structurally solid, the 58 year old buildings would need complete renovation to ‘bring them up to code’ and that is more expensive than building new.
· Our students need a better learning environment (including air conditioning).
· We want to gain what efficiencies we can through consolidating two buildings into one.
What projects are included in this Bond?
We need to acquire land and build a new K-4 Elementary school. In that school we hope to include room for preschool education and a gym with a high school sized basketball floor and a small amount of seating. In addition, as money is available, we will add repair and renovation projects for the High School, Middle School and Bus Barn.
Where will the new building be?
The new Elementary School will be in Naches. We have four pieces of land we are looking at, working to choose the best. Three of the land owners are willing to sell, and we are still talking to the fourth owner.
What’s in the Bond for me?
Knowing that your children, grandchildren, and neighbor’s children will have a greatly improved learning environment. Good schools reflect and build good communities, and this bond will improve our community for many years to come. Schools are a community resource as well as a significant vehicle of economic development. It is the responsibility of all community members, including those who have no children in school, to support the education of its young people.
What happens if the Bond doesn’t pass?
If the Bond does not pass we will either put the bond up to another election vote or raise a Capital Projects Levy to work on the land and development issues prior to voting on the Bond again.
Why are we being presented with both a Levy and a Bond?
The Levy presently serving the schools is expiring and needs to be replaced at this time. The Bond allows us to build a new K-4 elementary school with no additional taxes. Presenting the two on the same ballot saves the cost of a separate election.
What is the cost of the measures?
So, to respond to voter concerns, the School Board has adjusted the replacement Levy and Bond amounts so the overall tax rate for the Levy and Bond will be even, with no projected increase.
The Levy will raise $2,650,000 in 2013 and $2,680,000 in 2014 to keep our programs and people in place as best possible through these tough budget times and dealing with reductions in State funding.
It should cost taxpayers approximately $3.57/thousand or $44.62 per month for a $150,000 house.
The Bond will ask for $19.8 million dollars and run for 25 years with a $1.48 cost per thousand or $18.50 a month for a $150,000 house. That $1.48 will replace our retiring Middle School Bonds and our retiring Technology/Capital Levy.
Is this the right time to be asking the community for funding?
Absolutely. With the Middle School bonds being paid off plus the Capital Projects and Technology Levy expiring, those dollars can go directly to a bond payment with no increase in taxes. The climate for competitive bidding and the interest rates are both additional factors that indicate this is the right time to ask the community for funding.
What about senior citizens on a fixed income?
Senior citizens (age 61+), disabled individuals and some veterans may be eligible for a residential property tax exemption. Visit the Yakima County Commissioner’s Office Website for more information, or call (509) 574-1500.
How do I vote?
Yakima County uses all-mail-in election system (there are no polling places). Register to vote at: vote.wa.gov. For the Naches Valley School District’s February 14, 2012 ballot measures, all registered voters will receive their ballots in the mail beginning January 27th, 2012. Ballots must be postmarked by February 14, 2012 to be counted.
Visit www.nvsd.org or call (509) 653-2220 for more information.