Woodland Public Schools is proposing an Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy to replace the one that expired in 2023 on the February 13, 2024 ballot.
As a result of the levy that expired in 2023, the Board of Directors cut more than $6 million in programs and services over the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years. If passed, the 2024 EP&O levy would permit Woodland Public Schools to reinstate those programs and services prioritized by the community.
Click here for a larger version of the infographic breaking down levy funding Please note: The infographic in the printed flier mailed to the community contained two typos: listing Basic Education as $2,343,467 instead of $2,843,467 and listing Operating Costs & Materials as $500,000 instead of $340.184.The online version has been corrected.
By law, school districts can NOT collect more taxes than approved by voters. If assessed property values increase over the life a school levy, the tax rate collected by the school district DECREASES accordingly.
Click here to learn how school levies CANNOT collect more in taxes!
Every school district in Cowlitz and Clark counties uses local levy funding to make up the 12-15% difference between what Washington State provides and what school districts need.
Click here to learn what levies pay for!
Washington State's "prototypical model" is designed to provide funding for MINIMAL services from school districts which does not include technology, transportation, college credit classes, athletics, extracurricular activities and much more.
Washington State provides 6-12% regionalization enhancement funding to every school district in Clark County EXCEPT Woodland Public Schools and Green Mountain School District. Woodland has the SAME COSTS as our neighbors and must attract teaching staff from the SAME POOL OF APPLICANTS, yet Woodland receives with LESS state funds than similar school districts.
Cowlitz and Clark counties' property tax invoices combine the district's Capital Bonds used to construct Woodland High School with the Educational Programs & Operations Levies as well as the funds collected by the State.
For example, in 2023, the rate for the Educational Programs & Operations Levy rate was $2.10 per $1,000 of assessed property value and the rate for Woodland High School was is $1.21 per $1,000 of assessed property value, equaling a total rate of $3.31 per $1,000 of assessed property value as shown here:
The KWRL Transportation Cooperative which provides school bus services for Kalama, Woodland, Ridgefield, and La Center school districts is headquartered in Woodland Public Schools.
As part of state requirements for all school district cooperatives, all funding for all four school districts funnels through the single district where the service is based, in this case, Woodland.
In other words, Woodland Public Schools' per-pupil cost includes the transportation funding for Kalama, Ridgefield, and La Center in addition to the funding Woodland receives for its own students.
6.52% lower than the state average of $17,199 per pupil
If the calculated levy rate is over the $2.20 threshold from 2025-2027, Woodland Public Schools' Board of Directors will adopt a resolution certifying the district will collect a lower rate than the authorized collection. This is a local option and can happen at any level below the maximum. RCW 84.52.020 requires school districts to annually certify their budget with the county for the purposes of levying taxes.
If the voters fail to approve the replacement of the EP&O levy the school board will have no other choice than to reduce expenditures by $4 million or more for the 2024-2025 school year. The board has not reviewed or discussed what those cuts may be but cuts will be very deep.
Likely, one of the reductions that the board will have to discuss is the closure of Yale School. Yale School is a great small school that gets great results with kids; but, it is comparatively expensive to operate. In order to meet the diverse needs of students it is currently staffed more richly than any of our other schools.
Additionally, the supplemental "remote and necessary" funding from the state has been reduced over time to the point that it does not come close to making up the difference in cost. In the 2022-23 school year, the district received additional funding of $9,092. Back in the 2013-14 school year, the additional funding was $76,566.
Woodland Public Schools