Monroe High School (Monroe School District)

‘Set for the next four years’: Monroe schools levy officially passes

The levy funds 14% of the district’s budget including athletics, extracurricular activities and some transportation services.

MONROE — The successful passage of a vital school tax measure brought a sigh of relief for Monroe School District advocates.

The district’s four-year programs and operations levy passed with about 52% approval. Just shy of 9,000 of the 17,226 ballots cast for the measure were “yes” votes. The Snohomish County Auditor’s Office certified the results this week.

The district ran the same measure in February, but it failed with just 46% approval.

The levy is projected to bring in $68.9 million over four years. It sets an annual cap for how much the district can collect each year, including a maximum of nearly $15.9 million in 2023.

“It’s good news for our kids and for the district as a whole, because it’s very critical funding,” said Melanie Lockhart, chair of the pro-levy group, Citizens for Monroe Schools. “Without it, I think we would have been in a huge pickle for longer than people may have even realized.”

The levy accounts for about 14% of the district’s annual budget. The district uses the tax revenue to pay for several key programs and positions, including athletics, extracurricular activities, transportation services and school staff salaries not covered by state funding.

“We rely on this local funding for our schools and we are grateful to the Monroe voters for their support of our students and schools,” interim Superintendent Marci Larsen wrote in an email to The Daily Herald. “The renewal of this levy will allow us to continue providing the well-rounded education our community expects for our students, which goes beyond what the state provides funding for.”

Based on the most recent property value assessment, the district estimates it will cost homeowners about $1.71 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2023.

Lockhart said changes in the district — including the departure of former Superintendent Justin Blasko and the hiring of Larsen as interim superintendent — that happened since February likely helped the levy pass this November.

Lockhart is happy to see that the district is “set for the next four years” in terms of its local funding. Now school officials can turn their full attention to other improvements, she said. For example, the school board is in the midst of the search process for a permanent superintendent.

“They are building back that trust that’s been lost,” Lockhart said. “There’s still a lot of work they need to do, and I’m optimistic that they know that and they will continue to move in a direction that builds on that.”

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035;; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Photo by David Welton
A federal grant will help pay for the cost of adding a charging station to the Clinton ferry terminal.
Federal money to help electrify Clinton ferry dock

The Federal Transit Administration awarded state ferries a $4.9 million grant to help electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton route.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A holiday for Lunar New Year, a return of green and white license plates

It’s Day 29. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

FILE - This scanning electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows rod-shaped Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria. U.S. health officials are advising people to stop using the over-the-counter eye drops, EzriCare Artificial Tears, that have been linked to an outbreak of drug-resistant infections of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday night, Feb. 1, 2023, sent a health alert to physicians, saying the outbreak includes at least 55 people in 12 states. One died. (Janice Haney Carr/CDC via AP)
Eye drops linked to Snohomish County man’s death

Amid dozens of non-fatal infections, federal health leaders this week urged people to stop using EzriCare Artificial Tears.

Switzerland delegate Markus Herrmann listens while 12th grade students speak with him during a special event set up for their AP Comparative Government class at Glacier Peak High School on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
European delegates talk American culture with Glacier Peak students

Representatives from 18 different EU countries made a stop in Snohomish during their US tour.

Charlie Pancerzewski (Courtesy of Pancerzewski family)
Mukilteo citizen watchdog, 83, spoke for ‘the facts and the truth’

“It is fitting that the public see (Charlie Pancerzewski’s) name when they get up to the podium for public comment,” the mayor said.

A suspect removes a rifle bag from a broken rear window of a Seattle police car on May 30 in downtown Seattle. An Everett man, Jacob D. Little, 24, has been charged with the theft of the high-powered rifle stolen from the car. This image is from the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. 20200904
Everett man sentenced for stealing police gun in Seattle protest

Jacob Little, 26, now faces second-degree murder charges for allegedly killing a man in Renton in August 2020.

Most Read