Darren Zemanek/The Daily EvergreenDarren Zemanek/The Daily Evergreen Two replacement levies for the Pullman School District would give students and teachers the tools to stay competitive, according to committee co-chairs for the Citizens for Pullman Schools.
The Pullman school district is trying to pass a maintenance and operations levy and a technology levy that would run on the same tax rate as two others that are set to expire this year, said Fritz Hughes, committee co-chair for the Citizens for Pullman Schools.
“They ran a levy four years ago and it is time for those to expire,” Hughes said.
The replacement maintenance and operations levy would help to fund things like additional staffing and smaller class sizes. The technology levy would fund computers, updated phone lines and a fiber-optics system for phone, Internet and cable district wide, said Shannon Focht, assistant to the superintendent of Pullman public schools.
The levies provide more than 20 percent of the Pullman public schools’ operating budget, Focht said.
The current four-year management and operations levy expires at the end of 2012 and is being replaced by a two-year levy with slightly increased rates to cover inflating costs and shrinking state and federal revenues. The increase will amount to about $45 more per year than the expiring maintenance and operations levy on a property assessed at $150,000, according to a Pullman School District press release.
The new technology levy will replace a six-year levy at the same rate of about $200,000 total annually.
“We hope people will vote yes on the levies,” Hughes said. “People have to submit their votes by the 14th of February. When they are sending out their valentines, we hope that they will vote yes on the levies as well.”
Danielle Kallaher, co-chair for the Citizens for Pullman Schools, said the levies would take care of some things the state budget does not cover.
“Some schools don’t have school sports, art, PE and music that aren’t required by the state because the state doesn’t have money to fund those things,” Kallaher said.
If the levies do not pass, some things would have to go away, she said.
Hughes said the state only gives the school district so much money and the levies would ensure upkeep for technology.
Kallaher said the Pullman School District has been fortunate in that the community has always supported their levies.