Once levy bills pass session can end

In a not so surprising turn of events, legislators had such a difficult time coming up with a last minute fix to school levies, leaders resorted to public threats they were prepared to go to special session.  The last minute threats made the difference.  Soon after they were made, an agreement was reached.  Two bills, one from the Senate – HB 2140, and one from the House – SB 5313, contained the ingredients for a solution. Both bills passed on partisan votes and are now headed to Governor Inslee for his approval.

SB 5313

  • School districts with less than 40,000 students may levy the lesser of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value or $2,500 per pupil starting in 2020…currently all school districts are limited to the lesser of $1.50 per $1,000 or $2,500 per student.
  • School districts with more than 40,000 students may levy the lesser of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value or $3,000 per pupil starting in 2020.
  • Local effort assistance (LEA) changed…districts with a levy rate less than $1.50 will be provided pro-rated LEA based on their levy rate divided by $1.50.  Districts with a levy rate of $1.50 or greater will receive their maximum LEA that will not be pro-rated.
  • Provides additional local effort assistance to Vancouver and Evergreen school districts.

HB 2140

  • Allows unrepresented ESD (Educational Service District) employees to be exempt from SEBB until December 31, 2023.
  • Each ESD would be funded for one FTE to support career connected learning opportunities.
  • School districts will set up “subfund” for school maintenance.

 

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