Levy vote draws near

Residents of South Kitsap who support the proposed 2006-2009 Educational Program and Operations Levy are out in force today, one of the last days they will have to sway voters before Tuesday’s decision.

According to the SKSS, the levy, which would replace a similar levy that expires on Dec. 31, is necessary to further support “continuing educational programs and ongoing costs to support our maintenance and operations. Local levy funds provide classroom supplies and materials, transportation, technology, security and a preventative maintenance programs.”

The group claims the funds are critical to the welfare of South Kitsap schools because funds received from the state do not fully cover educational costs. “Local levy funds and matching state funds equate to 18 percent of the school district’s operating budget. State matching funds are only provided to school districts that pass local levies.”

If passed, the South Kitsap School District said 67 percent of the funds provided by the levy would be used for schools and instruction and seven percent on community relations and “general district-wide support.”

The remaining money will go toward transportation, computers and building maintenance.

According to Kitsap County Assessor Jim Avery, South Kitsap residents are paying $3.16 per $1,000 as opposed to Bremerton paying $4.58, Central Kitsap paying $5.03 and North Kitsap paying $4.29.

The school district estimates the levy monies collected over the four years at $62.8 million, $53.6 million of which comes from tax payers and $9.2 million in funds matched by the state.

It is estimated the levy will make up 18 percent of the district’s annual operating budget.

However, many levy naysayers say it’s not the money that keeps them from voting yes, it’s the way they believe the money is being used and supporting the levy would prevent things that are wrong in the system from being fixed.

The election will be held on Tuesday and polls will open at 7 a.m., closing at 8 p.m.

For more voting information call (360) 337-7128.

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