Mukilteo school levies
District uses tax money well
Our children graduated Mukilteo public schools well-prepared for life beyond high school, and now our family is looking at the next generation heading into kindergarten in a few short years.
Mukilteo School District voters have received ballots to approve two local levies: one for education programs and the other for capital technology improvements. While both replace existing ones for ongoing district operations, there has been a change to the financing of our schools.
For several years now, the Legislature has been working to fulfill the funding requirements for public education through the McCleary decision by the State Supreme Court.
However, despite the good work done by the Legislature to equalize funding for students across the state and comply with McCleary, the state definition of basic education doesn’t include everything a school district needs to provide to students. You might be surprised, but substitute teachers, school bus transportation, classroom materials and curriculum are not considered part of what has now been defined and funded by the state as basic education, and these items — among others — require a local property tax levy to fund these basics for school operations.
This year in the Mukilteo School District service area, this means if you have a home valued at $400K, you will see a $260 increase in 2018 on your combined state and local property taxes for our schools due to the McCleary “fix” from the Legislature. However, in 2019, the overall combined state and local tax rate will drop $364 on the same home. Most of that decrease comes from a substantially reduced local property tax rate even as the state education property tax increases slightly.
It is worth noting that Kamiak High School has a 92 percent four-year graduation rate and a 96 percent 5-year “extended” graduation rate. These rates rank it among the top high schools in the state based. Mariner High School has a 90 percent extended graduation rate and is well ahead of schools with comparable student demographics. This isn’t an accident. It’s because voters continue to support our schools and our students throughout their K-12 education. Of course, teachers and support staff play an equally important role in this success!
As you look at your ballots with the two local levies that replace existing ones to support schools, students, staff and the community, our local public schools will continue to deliver bang for the buck when it comes to students getting the education they need to graduate and go on to the next steps in life.
I encourage Mukilteo School District residents to vote yes on both levies on or before Feb. 13.