Remember to vote: Seattle Public Schools levies on Feb. 12 ballot
UPDATE: Snow or no snow, Tuesday is Election Day! You can put your ballot in the mail (be sure to deposit it where you know it will be picked up) or find a dropbox location here. Either way, no postage is required.
Voters in Seattle should now have their ballots two school levies on the ballot for a Feb. 12 special election. Each would raise money for the schools. Both replace older levies that are expiring. Seattle Public Schools serves about 53,000, students and the numbers are rising as the city grows.
Prop. 1 would raise up to $272 million a year to pay for programs such as school nurses and special education. We say “up to” $272 million because state legislation limits how much the district can collect each year. Seattle Public Schools is lobbying for the cap to be raised, so it can go without running deficits.
What will happen to the school funding picture if it passes and the cap isn’t lifted: Seattle Public Schools is projected to have a funding deficit of about $40 million next year, and will cut staff, including teachers.
What will happen to the school funding picture if the levy fails: Seattle Public Schools will have to pass another levy, or the deficit will be more than $300 million, out of a total budget of one billion.
Prop. 2 would raise $233 million a year over six years to replace or modernize schools around the district, in order to update old buildings and build new classrooms to accommodate the district’s continually growing population.
Here is a list of what the levies would pay for in each school.
You can mail in your ballot without a stamp or drop it in a voter drop box. If you have not received a ballot, or you have misplaced the ballot or the envelope originally mailed to you, contact King County Elections.