Coupeville Schools bringing M&O, tech levies to voters

The Coupeville School District will ask voters to approve two replacement levies in February.

The two levies, a maintenance and operations levy and a technology levy, replace existing levies that expire in 2018.

Combined, the district is asking for $2.324 per $1,000 assessed property value between the two levies which would generate $4.525 million annually over four years.

The proposal will actually be about 82 cents less per $1,000 than what property owners are currently paying and will cost the owner of a $200,000 home roughly $465 a year. The currently levy costs that same homeowner $630 annually.

“We think that’s good news,” said Superintendent Jim Shank.

When these levies would go into effect in 2019, the district’s capital projects levy will be over, allowing for an overall reduction in the district’s total levies.

“We’re in a pinch where our M&O levy expires in 2018, but the new law doesn’t go into effect until 2019,” Shank said.

Per the new upcoming law, an M&O levy will be called an “enrichment” levy and districts will be required to track specifics of where levy money goes.

So in an attempt to get ahead of the new rules, Shank said they are breaking down the total cost of the levy and what those funds will go to.

Some of the M&O levy, which is proposed at $1.193 per $1,000, goes toward contracts that aren’t part of the basic education the state covers.

An example would be an extra STEM and music teacher as well additional teachers hired to keep Coupeville’s class size to an average of 21 students.

“We can’t do that without local support,” Shank said.

The technology levy, proposed at .171 cents per $1,000, helps cover the district’s ongoing technology needs.

“We’ve had the tech levy for eight years,” Shank said. “It’s allowed us to become current and stay current.”

Every student in the district has a Chromebook or iPad. The levy provides all the support for upgrades, software subscriptions, wireless systems and a replacement plan.

“That’s what the levy does,” Shank said. “It keeps us on the cutting edge.”

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