Support Lakewood students, approve Feb. 19 levies

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Lakewood voters will have the opportunity to show their support for local schools Feb. 19 when two proposed levies will appear on the ballot.
The first, a four-year replacement Program and Operations Levy will, if approved, replace the existing levy which expires at the end of 2008. The second levy going to Lakewood voters is a four-year Technology Levy which would help implement the districts Technology Plan.
The proposed Program and Operations Levy would provide approximately 17 percent of the school districts annual operating budget. The money would be used to things such as curriculum, facility maintenance and upkeep, health and counseling services, security and emergency preparedness, services for students with special needs, staff training, student athletics and activities, student transportation and new school buses, and teachers, support staff and compensation and benefits beyond state funding levels.
The proposed replacement levy is a fixed annual levy amount and will no increase as property values are reassessed. The proposed levy is estimated to cost $1.85 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2009, $1.73 per $1,000 in 2010, $1.62 per $1,000 in 2011 and $1.54 per $1,000 in 2012. Those amounts are less than what residents in nearby districts are paying. For example, the 2007 rate per $1,000 in Lakewood was $2.17, in Arlington it is $2.32, in Marysville it is $2.62, in Lake Stevens it is $2.63 and in Darrington it is $3.12. Only Stanwood is lower at $1.65 per $1,000.
The proposed replacement Program and Operations Levy would provide much needed funding to the Lakewood School District. It is not a new levy, it would simply replace the existing levy which is set to expire at the end of 2008. Local voters should show their support for the Lakewood School District and approved the Program and Operations Levy on the Feb. 19 ballot.
The second measure going to Lakewood voters on the Feb. 19 ballot is a Technology Levy which also deserves their support.
The proposed Technology Levy is a four-year levy which would provide a total of $3.8 million and would fund the five parts of the districts Technology Plan. The funding, over four years, would provide $1.2 million for instructional technology; $350,000 for security; $450,000 for staff training; $300,000 for infrastructure and $1.5 million for implementation. It would cost an estimated $0.33 per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2009; $0.32 per $1,000 in 2010; $0.31 per $1,000 in 2011 and $0.30 per $1,000 in 2012. After 2012, the levy would expire.
Like the Program and Operations Levy, the Technology Levy deserves support from local voters. Its not enough to simply say we support our local schools, we need to actually do it. Vote yes on both levies when you cast your vote on the Feb. 19 ballot.


To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail forum@marysvilleglobe.com.

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