With its local levy expiring this year, the Board of Directors for Kalama School District has unanimously approved a resolution to place a three-year Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) replacement levy on the February 11, 2020 ballot.

Voters will have the opportunity to maintain current programs and activities that are not fully-funded by the state, such as art and music, woodshop, athletics, natural resources and more. Special Education courses, classroom supplies, crossing guards and substitute teachers are also supported by these local dollars.

This levy would replace the 2018 voter-approved levy that expires later this year. Kalama School District has had a local levy in place since 1979.

“It has not gone unnoticed by the School Board and the Administration that the Kalama community has consistently and overwhelmingly demonstrated its support for children and public schools in many ways, including their support of bonds and levies through the years,” said Board President Ryan Cruser. “We are grateful for this support and vow to continue to handle your tax dollars responsibly.

“This replacement levy will allow Kalama School District to continue to provide quality programs, grow our class offerings and provide multiple educational tracks so we can serve all of our student's needs,” he added.

The ballot resolution seeks the authority to collect up to $3.2 million in 2021, $3.3 million in 2022 and $3.4 million in 2023. Because the Legislature has capped collection rates at $2,500 per full-time equivalent student, the District estimates a levy rate of $1.98 per $1,000 of assessed property value for Kalama residents in 2021.

In the coming weeks, Kalama School District Superintendent Eric Nerison will be presenting replacement levy information at community and school meetings. More details, including frequently asked questions and a complete list of educational programs and operations supported by the levy, is available on the District’s 2020 replacement levy information page.