Family in classroom with "strong schools, strong communities" graphic

Kalama School District voters have approved a replacement Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy that will help fund services and operations in the district that are not fully-funded by the state or federal government. 

The newly-passed levy will provide approximately $11.3 million in funds to Kalama’s public schools over the next three years, and will take the place of the district’s existing EP&O levy when it expires at the end of 2023. 

“We are humbled and grateful for the continued support of the Kalama community,” said Kalama School District Superintendent Eric Nerison. “Our citizens’ belief in our students and staff, along with their understanding of the levy’s impact on teaching and learning in Kalama, was absolutely the driving force in its passage.”

Among the programs, activities, services and staff positions funded by the levy are: 

  • Health care specialists and counseling staff
  • Paraeducators and substitutes
  • Athletics and extracurricular activities
  • Art, music and drama
  • School safety and security
  • Instructional supplies
  • Chinook Station
  • Food services
  • Special Education supports
  • Outdoor learning
  • Dual-credit opportunities, and more

Certified results from the February 14, 2023 Special Election show that the levy resolution passed with 50.65 percent of the vote and 38 percent voter turnout. School levies require a simple majority to pass.

“While we are thrilled to be able to continue to offer levy-funded educational programs, student supports and extracurricular activities in our schools, we also recognize just how narrow the vote was,” noted Nerison. “It’s important that we reflect and learn from this experience, and continue the conversation with the community around school funding and student achievement in the days, weeks and months ahead.”

Wesley Eader, Kalama School Board President, expressed his gratitude to the voters and said the community’s ongoing support isn’t taken for granted.

“Levy dollars enable us to do things that are essential for the educational needs of our children,” he said. “We thank each and every one of the voters for taking the time to cast their ballot and share their voice.”