Bonds & Levies

The Seeds of School Funding

A bond provides funding for capital projects such as purchasing property for schools, constructing new schools, or modernizing existing schools. Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest over time from property tax collections, generally between 10-25 years.

BONDS

are for 

BUILDING

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Bonds need a 

supermajority

to pass

60%

A levy is a short-term, local property tax passed by the voters of a school district that generates revenue for the district to fund programs and services that the state does not fund or fully fund as part of “basic education".

LEVIES

are for

LEARNING

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Bonds need a 

supermajority to pass

Bonds need a 

supermajority to pass

Bonds need a 

supermajority to pass

50%

+1

Levies need a

simple majority

to pass

How are schools funded?

All school districts receive money in the 3 major categories:

*State – About 67% of the school district’s revenue comes from the State of Washington to fund basic education. Basic needs can include teachers and textbooks. It is important to note that the state does not fully fund the things defined as "basic education," and that the definition does not include many things that parents and teachers would assume are "basic."

*Local Taxes – About 23% of the school district’s revenue comes from bonds and levies. 

*Federal – About 8% of the revenue comes from the federal government to help fund programs that support special education students, disadvantaged students, students who are learning to speak English and subsidies for food service. This amount has been dwindling over the years.

*A tiny fraction comes from school fees.

 

Transportation

Levies

A replacement levy is the renewal of an existing enrichment levy that is about to expire. Typically, if a district is asking for a replacement levy to be approved by voters, it means that it is simply the continuation of an existing tax.

There are 3 main types of levies. 

Levies

Capital levies (which include tech levies) fund things like modern technology, enhanced building security, and renovation projects. Capital levies can be approved for up to six years.

 

Capital

&

Tech 

Levies

Enrichment levies, also known as Educational Programs and Services (EP&O) and Maintenance and Operations (M&O levies), allow a school district to provide things like teachers, support staff, supplies and materials, or services that the state only partially funds. Funding provided by the state does not fully cover the actual costs to operate a school district, so enrichment levies bridge the gap in funding. Enrichment levies can be approved for up to four years.

 

Enrichment

Levies

 

Transportation levies fund things like new buses or major repairs to older buses to prolong their useful life. Transportation levies can be approved for up to two years.

©2020 by Citizens Team for Mukilteo Schools.

Questions? Contact the Citizens Team here.

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