Levies pay for day-to-day operations of schools including teachers, textbooks, supplies and extracurricular programs. This is a way for local communities to supplement state funding, which falls short of providing for all that is necessary. For Lynden Public Schools, the local levy funds approximately 14% of the annual budget, filling the gap between state and federal funds and maintaining essential educational programs for more than 3900 students who attend Lynden Schools. The levy is in place for 4 years before needing to be renewed by voters.
A bond is used to fund large construction projects and to build new schools, and has longer duration than a levy- typically 20 years.
No. The Education Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy will renew and replace the current levy, which expires in December 2024.
No. The February ballot measure is a replacement levy to pay for day-to-day school operations and extra-curricular activities. This levy is for a different purpose than the bond that is being proposed to build a new high school and increase classroom space at the elementary level. It is used for programs such as Pre-school, music, drama, athletics and curricular programs such as STEAM, Special Education, English Language Program, AVID, and Highly Capable.
Lynden citizens have a long history of strong support for levies. The current levy is expiring in December 2024, which means the district must seek voter approval for a replacement levy. While the state is working to figure out how to fully fund public education our local EP&O Levy will ensure we continue to provide a high-quality education for the students we serve. Without this levy, we will have to reduce staffing, programs, and services to students.
The state still does not fully fund programs considered to be basic education such as the full cost of classified and certificated staffing (salaries and benefits), fully adequate staffing levels to support students, full cost of special education services, full cost of student programs to ensure every child’s success, and others. In order to continue current programs and services, a local levy is necessary to address the gap between what the state funds and the actual cost of operating schools.
Senior citizens (age 62+) and disabled individuals may be eligible for a residential property tax exemption. Call the Whatcom County Assessor’s Office at 360-676-6790 for more information on this exemption.
Without levy funds, the District operating budget would be reduced by approximately 14%. The Lynden School District Board of Directors would be required to make program reductions and adjustments in order to balance the budget. The loss of levy funding would have a significant impact on students, educational programs such as Pre-School, STEAM, AVID, Special Education, and Highly Capable, as well as extra-curricular activities such as athletics, music, and drama.
You can find more information on Levies & Property Taxes on the Whatcom Assessor’s website.