Two Coupeville school levies head to voters in February

Central Whidbey voters will be asked to decide early next year whether to continue local funding for Coupeville schools.

The Coupeville School Board last week approved sending two levies that will bring in millions of dollars to the district. Voters will consider the two replacement levies during a special election scheduled for Feb. 12, 2014.

“We want to stress that this is a replacement levy,” board president Kathleen Anderson said “It’s the same as what ran four years ago.”

The maintenance and operations levy will bring in $2.24 million a year for the next four years, which is a significant portion of the school district’s roughly $10 million budget. If approved, property owners would pay approximately $1.15 per $1,000 assessed property value.

The technology levy would bring in $300,000 a year for the next four years. It would pay for continued technology purchases, training and upgrades.

Voters first approved the tech levy four years ago. Since then, school leaders used the levy dollars to purchase more than 700 electronic devices, an Internet-based phone system and training for staff.

“We’ve come a long ways in the last four years and we want to continue to move forward,” said superintendent Jim Shank.

Anderson said the state doesn’t provide much support for technology in schools.

“The state does not recognize technology as basic education,” Anderson said.

Both levy proposals are similar to the ones school officials presented to voters four years ago. They both need to be approved by a simple majority.

Shank said he is looking for names of potential candidates to lead a levy committee tasked with promoted the two levies to Central Whidbey voters.


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