Mon May 13 2019, 5:30pm
WHS Room 2203
Study Session


EP&O (Formerly M&O) Levy

Before the 2019 school, M&O levies were based on the total of State and Federal revenues received by the District in the prior year.   In 2017 the state legislature approved HB 2242 in response to the McCleary case.  This bill dramatically changed school finance. Beginning in 2018 the state increased the amount they were collecting in school taxes.  In Woodland State School Tax increased from $1.98 per $1000 to $2.90 per $1000.  Beginning in 2019 the collection changed from a "Total" based on revenue to a  maximum millage amount (a fixed $ per $1000 collection).  Statewide the millage was capped at $1.50 per $1000 up to $2500 per student.  If the $1.50 did not collect at least $1500 per student, the state would make up the rest in levy equalization (LEA).

This funding formula changes meant approximately a 30% reduction in local funds for Woodland Public Schools in 2019.   Other districts saw proportionally even greater reductions (because we were not at the predecessor 26% cap).   Realizing that HB 2242 and the 2018 "fix bill," SB 6362 perpetuated underfunding of schools the state in the final hours of this year's (2019) session the state legislature adopted E2SSB 5313  Which deals with Local Levy.   This bill, among other things:

  • Allows a district to levy at the lesser of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value or $2,500 per pupil for school districts with fewer than 40,000 FTE students.
  • Allows a district to levy at the lesser of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value or $3,000 per pupil for school districts with 40,000 FTE students or more (Seattle SD only).
  • Provides local effort assistance to school districts that do not generate an enrichment levy of at least $1,550 per student when levying at a rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.
  • Requires school districts to, beginning in the 2019-20 school year,  provide an expenditure schedule that identifies the amount expended on certain supplementary enrichment activities.
  • Requires, should the state auditor find that a school district has used local revenues for non-enrichment activities, the school district's maximum enrichment levy collection must be reduced.

The board must decide how we should approach collection in 2020.   We currently have the voter authorization to collect $5m, which, according to Stacy's preliminary calculation is equal to the allowable $2.50/$1000.

Looking at the EP&O levy rate alone provides an incomplete picture.   The table below 

On Friday, May 3 Seattle NBC Affiliate KING5 published an excellent video titled: "Deep Dive: Washington State Education Funding" That clearly explains the dilemma that districts face with the 2019 McClary Fix of increasing the levy capacity of school districts.

Attached Files:
School Tax Rate History(1).svg image/svg+xml 294K