Community Education

Voters approving two Peninsula School District levies

Posted on February 14th, 2023 By:

Voters gave the Peninsula School District two Valentine’s Day gifts.

By comfortable margins, voters approved both a local levy to replace an expiring one and a security and technology levy.

The Pierce County Auditor’s Office posted preliminary election results shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Special Election results

The three-year Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy (Proposition 1) received support on 64% of ballots counted so far. The six-year Safety, Security and Technology Levy (Proposition 2) was supported on 63.4% of ballots.

Both measures need a simple majority (50% plus one vote) to pass.

The Auditor’s office’s election division indicated that 17,437 ballots were cast in the election, a turnout of 32.89%. 

Members of Stand Up for Peninsula Schools, the political action committee in support to that district’s school levies, celebrated Tuesday at The Floatation Device in Purdy.

“I am so excited, so relieved. Once again our community has shown that they understand and value the importance of quality schools,” said Natalie Wimberley, school board president. “The success of these levies will allow us to continue essential staffing and programs and make some necessary security and technology improvements across our district. So, we’re thrilled at the support of our community and glad to continue serving.”

“Thank you, Peninsula School District voters for continuing to support our schools by approving these important levies,” Superintendent Krestin Bahr said in a news release. “We are so grateful to our community for voting in support of our school district’s great programs and staff.”

What the levies cover

The operations levy would replace the current levy, which expires at the end of 2023. It accounts for about 18 percent of the district’s budget. It pays for items not fully funded by the state, such as nurses, counselors, educators, athletics, arts, music, clubs, transportation and preventative maintenance projects.

The security and technology levy would pay for secure building access controls, emergency communications systems, security cameras and cybersecurity services. It would also fund student and staff devices, and classroom instructional equipment.

What the levies cost

The estimated tax rates for the Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy are: $1.13 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2024, $1.12 per $1,100 in 2025 and $1.10 per $1,000 in 2026. The levy would generate $27 million in 2024, just over $28 million in 2025 and just over $29 million in 2026.

The Safety, Security and Technology Levy rate would be a flat 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed value over six years, beginning in 2024. The levy would generate annual amounts increasing from $6 million in 2024 to just under $7 million in 2029.