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Seattle School District No. 1

Proposition No. 1
Operations Levy

Seattle School District No. 1 requests approval of this proposition to maintain current educational program funding levels. As provided in Resolution No. 2015/16-9, this proposition replaces an expiring levy and authorizes the District to levy the following excess taxes on all taxable property within the District, to support the District’s educational programs and operations:





Collection Years

Approximate Levy
Assessed Value



Levy Amount











Should this proposition be approved?



Seattle Public Schools requests voter approval of an operations levy of $758.3 million in the aggregate to be collected in the three year period from 2017 to 2019. The proposed levy will replace an expiring levy.

Passage of Proposition No. 1 would allow the levy of taxes over a three year period to pay for the education programs and operations and to meet the education needs of the students attending District schools. The money in and to be paid into the General Fund of the District is insufficient to meet those needs without additional funds.

Programs and services to be funded by the levy include, but are not limited to: 6th period classes at middle and high school levels; teachers, instructional assistants and administrative staff salaries; textbooks and classroom supplies; bilingual and special education services; student transportation, security, maintenance and other operations; student activities, such as athletics, arts, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities; professional development and training.

The total amount to be collected will be $229.4 million in 2017, $250.3 million in 2018 and $278.6 million in 2019. The estimated levy rates per $1,000 of assessed value will range from $1.38 per one thousand for 2017 collections to $1.53 per one thousand for 2019 collections. The exact levy rate will be adjusted based upon the actual assessed value of the property within the District at the time of the levy.

For questions about this measure, contact:  Thomas Redman, Communications Specialist, 206-252-0655,

Essential Public School Funding

Please Renew this essential Seattle Public Schools Operations Levy. Its passage is vital to the quality of education we are able to provide to the over 52,000 students currently enrolled—with that number expected to grow by 4,000 more students by 2020.

This levy is not a new tax. It replaces the expiring operations levy that accounts for about 25% of the district’s operating budget.

The Operations Levy provides every school with vital funding for essential education needs that are not fully funded by the state. It helps pay for items such as teachers, textbooks, supplies, bilingual and special education services, security, transportation, and student activities such as music and athletics. Without these funds, our children’s education will suffer – teachers and staff would be laid off, class sizes increased and important programs cut. Every student and every school benefits from this levy!

“Please vote to renew this levy! This levy provides resources that make it possible for Seattle Public Schools educators to serve students. Thank you.” – Kristin Bailey-Fogarty, teacher, Eckstein Middle School

We can’t have a great city without great schools. Please join us in voting Yes to renew the Seattle Schools Operations Levy!

Under the McCleary decision, the Washington state Supreme Court found that the state should fund public education. The justices ruled that, “Pouring more money into an outmoded system will not succeed.' They also found that “special interests tend to distort the true picture of public school finance to expand their own budgets.”

Under this ruling, it is illegal for Seattle Public Schools to use levy money to fund teacher salaries; however, they are trying to sell this operations levy to the public by allotting 25.2% of the overall budget to just this. The literature that has been sent out to the public obfuscates this fact. Furthermore, the District says it has cut the budget of Central Administration to 5.8%, but have in actuality have separated it out of the “school administrative budget” (6.1%) In total that is almost 12%.

If the District wants to play the shell game with public dollars, it's our responsibility to reject this levy. They pull at the public's heartstrings by saying, “but it's for the children. “ But according to their lack of transparency, we aren't who the money is for. Until Seattle Schools can better account for where your levy dollars go, vote No.

Renewing the Operations Levy is critical to ensuring a quality education for our kids. It provides over 25% of the funds needed to operate Seattle’s public schools – money that benefits every one of our students and that the State does not provide.

The Con statement is incorrect. This levy pays for teachers, 6th period classes at middle and high schools, security, textbooks, and more.  We cannot have a great city without great schools. Vote Yes.

Statements sent in by:  Estela Ortega, Cassandra Johnston, and Ron Simms,

The McCleary decision rules states should fund public education. "Special interests tend to distort the true picture of public school finance to expand their own budgets".

It's illegal to use levy money to fund teacher salaries. Their literature states that   25.2% of the overall budget is for operation, but obfuscates this fact, They say it has cut the Administration budget to 5.8%, but have separated it out of the “school administrative budget” (6.1%) almost 12%

Statements sent it by:  Nick Esparza,

Simple majority (Washington Constitution article VII, section 2(a))

For questions about this measure, contact:  Thomas Redman, Communications Specialist, 206-252-0655,


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