Sunday, November 13, 2011

How we finance the Stanwood Camano School District

 On this cold rainy Saturday,  members and guests attended the monthly meeting of our local Democratic Party at the Viking to hear representatives of the Stanwood Camano School District - Ellen Hiatt, a parent on the school’s levy committee, Superintendent Jean Shumate and finance director Gary Platt   - outline the school district's financial needs and current funding

The State provides 65% of the funding and the Federal Government 10%.  In addition to local fees a local Levy pays 23%. This levy will expire in December 2011.  Voters are being asked to renew the levy by ballot in late January to be returned by Feb. 14th.  Voting in favor of the levy will provide our schools with student bus transportation, extra help for struggling students.  advanced placement classes , breakfast and lunch programs, utilities and building maintenance.   To determine how much the levy would cost your household,   you would multiply the assessed value of your house by .00217.  Seniors with an income less than $35k can apply for an exemption.

Members of the audience were concerned about what steps the district had taken to save money.  As with the City of Stanwood,  staff have been laid off .  All employees, including teachers have accepted a pay cut and/or furlough days while assuming additional duties resulting from staff reductions.  Where it was safe students have been required to walk farther to a bus stop to reduce diesel fuel consumption.   I asked questions about the school's ability to maintain scholastic performance under these cuts.  I was impressed by how the district was able to maintain standards with the help of local citizen volunteers.  The Washington State Report Card provides a detailed report on Student performance

Everyone interested in local Democratic politics is welcome to attend our meetings at the Viking Restaurant on the second Saturday of each month.

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