Funding

School districts have two separate funding sources, bonds and levies, which are specifically designated for different educational purposes.  Bonds build buildings and levies are for learning expenditures.  State funding, such as the recent McCleary decision, does not fund school construction, rather leaves it to the local school district to fund capital construction projects and renovate schools.  The State does provide matching funds should local school districts pass bond measures.  Kelso School District would receive an additional $40 million in matching funds, enough to build almost 1.5 of the new elementary schools, when the bond measure passes.

The state’s four-year implementation of McCleary does impact our local tax payers, and the Kelso School District has been transparent about the upcoming changes. The first change will be an increase by the State in the state schools levy of approximately 77 cents beginning in year 2018.  Every school district in the state will see an increase in the State School Levy. The state schools levy is collected by the State and returned to local school districts for running their schools.

In 2019, Kelso School District rate payers will see a significant drop in the local Education Program and Operations Levy – it will drop from $3.90 to approximately $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. This levy is used to pay for current staff salaries, curriculum, technology, and other program costs focused on learning. This significant reduction will help offset the proposed bond measure.  Below is a chart showing the impact on rates over the next few years (updated by County Assessor’s Office as of 1/17/18).

Current 2017 Taxes
(per $1,000 AV)

State School Levy

$2.13

Educational Program Levy

$3.90

KSD Bond

$1.39

Total

$7.42

Current 2018 Taxes
(per $1,000 AV)

State School Levy

$2.90

Educational Program Levy

$3.65

KSD Bond

$1.29

Total

$7.84

Estimated 2019 Taxes
(per $1,000 AV)

State School Levy

$2.90

Educational Program Levy

$1.50

KSD Bond

$3.11*

Total

$7.51

*est. proj new $98.6M Bond

Kelso ratepayers will see a slight increase from 2017 rates of approximately 9 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2019 as the replacement levy and bond measure take effect. A property owner with a home in the range of $200,000 would see an increase of approximately $1.50 per month, or $18 per year.

Project Timeline

Bond Project Timeline