2018 Levy FAQs - Common and Frequently Asked Questions
Dear Students, Staff, Parents and Community Members:
Many of you have received ballots in the mail giving you the opportunity to vote on three levy ballot measures that support Riverview School District students.
The propositions include a four-year replacement levy for Educational Programs and Operations, a four-year replacement levy for Technology and Capital Projects, and a two-year levy for Transportation. If you haven't had a chance to look at the specifics, a link to the levy brochure follows:
2018 Levy Brochure Ballot Measure Information
During recent levy presentations, shared with parents, staff, city councilpersons, and community members over the past couple of months, a number of common questions have come up.
Answers to many frequently asked questions follow.
Q: How will the three levies affect my taxes?
A: Not much, as the total levy amount is similar to what it was four years ago, with the amount per thousand of assessed valuation actually going down significantly according to the current state plan. The amount the district will be collecting, per $1,000 of assessed property value, will be less over the next four years than previously collected, because the state has reduced our levy limit, while adding a new state tax that will be collected and redistributed to school districts throughout the state.
Q: If assessed value goes up, does the district collect more money?
A: No. Voters approve a fixed collection amount that does not increase regardless of what happens to assessed value.
Q: How will the levy money be used to improve my children's education?
A: The Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy makes up about 18% of our general fund budget not covered by the state. This includes many of the basic services that the district provides, such as teachers, support staff, coaches, advisors, transportation, food services, maintenance, after school programs, and specialists likewise not provided by the state.
The Technology and Capital Projects Replacement Levy covers technology needs, as well as additional portables, neither of which are funded by the state. In the area of technology, we are continuing to provide personal devices to our students to teach them about the world they will be entering after high school graduation.
The Transportation Vehicle Fund Levy provides for buses that have depreciated off the state's schedule for matching funding. The state does not provide funding for old buses. In addition, our school district is growing, adding 270 students over the past 10 years. We need to purchase two additional buses to meet student transportation needs for a growing district.
Q: What improvements will we see at each school in the district as a result of the levy?
A: As stated earlier, these levies are about maintaining and slightly enhancing the educational resources we currently have in place. We will continue to prioritize low class sizes, emphasizing the four A's - Academics, the Arts, Athletics, and Activities, that are so vital to each student's success and further benefits the success of our community.
Q: What are some ways the levy has helped and/or benefited our students?
A: Ongoing support of our levies has meant significant success in schools across our district. Riverview is one of three school districts in North America to earn placement on the College Board AP Honor Roll for five consecutive years. This award is earned for expanding opportunity and improving performance of AP students. We continue to receive student recognition for excellence at regional, state, national, and international competitions. Cedarcrest's FFA program has been named the Best Program in the State twice in the last four years.
Our district has deployed student-issued devices to every Tolt Middle School student, and has reallocated laptops throughout our schools to put technology in more hands than ever before. PARADE, a K-12 parent-partnership program at the Riverview Learning Center, has earned School of Distinction honors for three consecutive years, demonstrating top 5% improvement in the state reading and math index. PARADE and Tolt Middle School earned Gold Star Schools status from Governor Jay Inslee for an increase in students signing up for the College Bound Scholarship program, which encourages middle school students from low income families to pursue education after high school.
Riverview Schools have received the Washington Achievement Award for five consecutive years as being in the top 10% of schools making the most progress in reading or English Language Arts and math combined performance.
Q: I have read this document and the levy brochure and still have more questions. Who can I contact for more information?
A: You can contact the Riverview School District Business Office or Superintendent's Office by calling (425) 844-4500. We would be glad to answer any questions. No question is too small or too large for us to answer.
Dr. Anthony L. Smith
Riverview School District