Replacement Educational Maintenance and Operations Four-Year Levy

This new Educational Maintenance and Operations Levy replaces our existing Maintenance and Operations Levy.  This levy represents 20% of the MISD budget.  Passage of this levy allows MISD to retain the programs and teachers the community has come to expect from its high performing schools.  This levy will run from 2019 to 2022 and raise between $11.75 and $12.75 million per year for use by the local school district.  Even more information is available at the MISD website.

The goals of this levy are:

  1. Keep MISD a high performing district
    • Retain 7 period day at MIHS which allows students to meet 24 credit graduation requirements while taking part in elective courses
    • Retain expanded electives (e.x. AP Computer Science courses) at MIHS and IMS
    • Retain Elementary K-5 Music, Art, PE, and Spanish
    • Retain Fine Arts Programs such as Advanced Drama, Jazz Band, Radio Programming, and many others
    • Retain a high level of student supervision and safety
  2. Help each and every student
    • Retain 38% of special education funding
    • Retain classified para-professional support in classrooms to personalize education, provide additional special education support, or English language learning assistance for each child
    • Retain our online learning programs
    • Retain smaller class sizes in “focused” sections for struggling students
  3. Support Our Staff
    • Provide professional development courses to effectively deliver our curriculum and address student needs
    • Provide stipends for staff to support after school clubs and activities such as coding, destination imagination, community service, and many many others

What’s New This Year?

Due to the McCleary Decision at the WA State Supreme Court, the WA State Legislature changed the way schools are funded with the passage of HR2242. One component of this was a restructuring of how “basic education”, as defined by the state, would be equitably funded across all school districts. Another component was new definitions on how school districts continue their local maintenance & operations levies to deliver educational programs that are not funded by the state.

Starting in 2019, the maximum a district can raise through a local M&O levy is $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value OR $2,500 per student, whichever is less.  For Mercer Island, the school district is limited to raising $2,500 per student.

School Funding Tax Details

Projected School Property Tax Impacts on a median house value on Mercer Island ($1,087,000). 2017 represents the existing, pre-McCleary decision, local levy. 2019 represents the post-McCleary decision, and corresponding legislation, with a reduced local levy. 2018 is an interim year where school calendars and legislation calendars don’t align causing a portion of the old and a portion of the new levies to apply.

Levy/Bond 2017 2018 2019
Local M&O Levy (2014, 2018) $1,222 $1,274 $737
Local Construction Bond $606 $559 $510
Local Transportation Levy $62
Local Capital and Tech Levy $516 $469 $437
———- ———- ———-
Total MI Voted Taxes $2,406 $2,302 $1,684
K-12 School Related State Taxes $2,032 $3,000 $3,000
———- ———- ———-
Total Local and State School Taxes $4,438 $5,302 $4,684
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