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Oak Harbor School Board discusses athletics, activities’ place in levy

Oak Harbor High School choir director Darren McCoy talks about the levy with the crowd during a workshop about how the taxpayer funds help athletics and activities in the district.  - Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor High School choir director Darren McCoy talks about the levy with the crowd during a workshop about how the taxpayer funds help athletics and activities in the district.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen/Whidbey News-Times

The Oak Harbor School District board devoted Tuesday’s meeting to a workshop discussing athletics and activities and their role in the upcoming levy.

The board is asking the community to pass a $7.35 million levy in February. Money within the levy would support athletics and activities.

According to a district handout distributed at Tuesday’s meeting, “Impact Aid, the funding source for athletics and activities, has shrunk by $1.5 million over the last five years and is projected to continue shrinking. Oak Harbor is the only school district in the state that relies solely on Impact Aid for athletics and activities instead of funding them through a local levy.”

The board asked those in attendance, about 100 parents, students, coaches and advisors, to brainstorm ideas on three topics: 1, What are the benefits of athletics and activities? 2, How would the potential cuts or fee increases affect athletics and activities? and 3, What criterion should be used if cuts are required to downsize athletics and activities?

Superintendent Rick Schulte said the ideas generated through the brainstorming sessions would be placed on the district website (www.ohsd.net) to help explain the importance of athletics and activities in the academic process.

“We want people to see this information and use it as talking points when discussing the levy,” he said.

Board President Corey Johnson said this information will also help clarify athletics and activities’ place in the levy.

“People say we need this levy because we can’t afford the stadium,” he said. “That is totally wrong.”

The stadium is being funded by other bonds, Johnson said.

To review the brainstorming information go to www.yesoakharbor.org.

 

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