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Levy funding targets enrichment programs

Tuesday night Superintendent Wade Smith and Director of Fiscal Services Nancy Taylor briefed school board members on progress being made to meet new legislative requirements approved in Olympia in April. School districts across the state are now required to create budget codes for Enrichment Levy expenditures as another layer of transparency.

Superintendent Smith and Taylor have identified $16.5M of expenditures not covered by the state's basic education prototypical funding model developed by the legislature to meet the "McCleary Decision" state Supreme Court ruling.

Smith noted programs funded by the Enrichment Levy provide a comprehensive school experience. He reported 12 music staff members, 11 intervention specialists, 13 physical education teachers, 5.6 Advanced Placement teachers and 4.4 safety and security officers are funded by the levy. Nearly $1M in levy funds cover athletic and extra curricular costs. The levy also funds 4 art teachers, 2 Highly Capable teachers, 6 Health Clinicians and nearly 4 Library technicians. The list, developed to capture levy expenditures, also included several maintenance, custodial and technology staff positions.

"The state's prototypical funding model does not fund many of the programs our students, families and community have come to expect in their public schools," said Superintendent Smith.

School board members will continue studying levy needs as they prepare for a February 2020 Enrichment Levy proposal.

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