Measure 20-300 poses the question to voters in the Crow-Applegate-Lorane School District of whether or not the district should continue to levy $1.50 per $1,000 assessed property value for general operations of schools for the next five years, beginning in 2020.
The measure is a renewal of a November 2014 local option levy to provide funding for school instructional programming and retaining teachers and staff. At the proposed rate, the levy is estimated to raise $1,062,000 of revenue over five years.
“Actually, this has been in place since 2003-2004,” said district superintendent Aaron Brown. “So, it goes back quite a ways.”
Current estimates predict that the local option levy will bring in more than $1 million over the five years from 2020 to 2025, a number Brown says has been consistent since the levy was first voted on.
“It’s been pretty vital,” he said. “We’ve been able to continue offering music K-12, we’ve been able to continue with full-time P.E, we’ve been able to keep electives as a whole — vocational-type electives.”
The district has about 245 enrolled students and employs a staff of about 40. Renewing funding is said to be necessary to retain staff and classes at their current state.
“We’ve been able to offer our students a good, well-rounded education and have courses that they’re interested in,” Brown said. If the measure does not pass, the school district anticipates having to make cuts as the budget is reduced by $200,000 or more with each consecutive year.
“It would most likely be staff of some sort in some way,” said Brown, anticipating that electives would likely be cut as well.
Because the levy is slated to go into effect for the 2020-21 school year, the May 2019 Special Election is not the district’s last chance to pass the measure.
“We didn’t have to do it this election cycle, but we thought we would,” Brown said.
Providing the measure does not pass, the district can try another election cycle.
“It definitely has helped our district and it will definitely help us continue with the direction that we’re going,” said Brown. “I hope the voters will want to support it because I think it’s great for the kids and our community.”