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Ferndale School District to ask voters to consider a replacement levy on November 3, 2020

On November 3, the Ferndale School District community will consider a two-year School Programs and Operations Levy. 

The replacement levy ensures our students have access to the resources they need to learn – whether that takes place in-person or online. If passed, the levy will continue funding for staff working to help our students learn, computers and technology, programs, and learning opportunities. 

We recognize that times are difficult right now. When the February levy failed, we made difficult cuts to our staff and the programs and resources we offer.

After much deliberation, we decided to ask our community again to consider approving a local levy renewal. This levy is NOT a new tax; rather, it replaces an existing levy that will expire in December. The levy replacement ensures our schools have the funding to help students, not only during remote learning but also to ensure a smooth transition when students are back in the classroom.

What would the levy fund?

In the face of COVID-19, our schools have had to adapt to an ever-changing landscape. The levy replacement ensures our schools have the resources they need to provide our students with the best education possible

A person pointing to a board teaching

 

School staff. Regardless of where students are learning, our staff is available to ensure every student has access to the resources they need. The levy funds

 

School services and programs. The levy provides the funding that supports special education, advanced learning, lower class sizes and 8-period high school schedules, which allows our students to take more elective classes.

A light bulb with an arrow

 

Technology for both school and at-home learning. The levy funds a 1:1 tech ratio for grades 6-12, giving students access to school-owned computers. 

A music note, theater faces and football

 

Student services and opportunities. The levy allows us to plan for the future by ensuring funding for student services and extracurricular activities like athletics, music, and drama. 

 

Why do school districts need levies?

School districts are funded through state, local, and federal dollars. Most districts rely on local voter-approved levies and bonds to fully fund education and to maintain and build schools.

Levies are for learning. Ongoing levies provide funding for student programs, services, and staff, beyond what the state funds.

Bonds are for building. The state provides limited funding for major school construction projects, so schools use bonds to fund large construction projects, like rebuilding Ferndale High School. For updates on our 2019 bond, visit https://www.ferndalesd.org/business-support-services/bond-2019

 

What will the levy cost?

The School Programs and Operations replacement levy is not a new tax; instead, it replaces a levy that will expire in December 2020. When deciding to run the November 3 levy, we were conscious of the cost on our community. That is why this renewal levy is at a lower tax rate than what voters are currently paying. 

If approved, the replacement school levy tax rate will drop from $2.17 to $1.50, saving taxpayers $0.67 per $1,000 a year. 

A tax graphic showing how much the levy will cost


Levy Frequently Asked Questions

Ferndale School District to seek levy in November
to restore partial funding

Ferndale School District is asking voters to consider renewing the School Programs and Operations Levy in the November 3 election.  A February request to replace the levy was not approved, and the April 28 election was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

This is not a new tax, but replaces the current levy that we use to fund our schools, which expires in January 2021. Even with approval of this levy, our district will continue to tighten our belts and make cuts to our budget to ensure we are operating efficiently. The district is cutting 102 positions for the 2020-21 school year due to the levy failure, and approval of the levy would help limit further cuts to staff and schools.

Renewal of the levy would continue to fund the gap between state funding and the cost to operate the district, including:

  • School staffing positions such as nurses, counselors, psychologists, paraeducators, social workers and native and Latino student advisors
  • School services and programs like advanced learning and Special Education services
  • Technology supports and 1:1 devices for grades 6-12, which will help with continuous learning if school buildings are again closed.
  • Opportunities for extracurricular activities, such as athletics, art, drama, band and clubs

The district will have more details, including the tax rate, later this summer.

Why do school districts need levies?

School districts are funded through state, local and federal dollars. Most districts rely on local voter-approved levies and bonds to fully fund education and to maintain and build schools.

Levies are for learning. Ongoing levies provide funding for student programs, services and staff, beyond what the state funds.

Bonds are for building. The state provides limited funding for major school construction projects, so schools use bonds to fund large construction projects, like rebuilding Ferndale High School. For updates on our 2019 bond, visit https://www.ferndalesd.org/business-support-services/bond-2019

Ferndale School Board Removes Levy Proposal, “Focus is on COVID-19 Response.”

The Ferndale School Board made the decision to postpone a School Programs and Operations Levy request scheduled for the April 28 election. The decision was made to focus on COVID-19 response. This decision was shared in a news release on March 18, 2020 and can be viewed on our website:

https://www.ferndalesd.org/news/1677192/ferndale-school-board-will-remove-levy-proposal-focus-is-on-covid-19-response

The need to renew levy funds does not go away. K-12 education is not fully funded. The Ferndale School District relies on local voter-approved levies to fill the gap between what the state funds and what students need. The replacement levy continues funding for staff, programs, student opportunities and services. 

This web page will be updated with specific information about new plans for a School Programs and Operations Levy request at a later date.


Ferndale School District Levy News and Information


PowerPoint Resource Following February 2020 Levy Failure

The following presentation was created and shared following the levy failure on the February 2020 ballot as the Ferndale School Board considered next steps. It provides information about what no levy funding could mean in the Ferndale School District and proposed cuts.
This presentation was first shared at the February 17th, 2020 School Board Meeting. Versions of this PowerPoint were shared at the School Board Meeting, an optional all-staff meeting and at two Community Forums during a time span of February 17 to February 24.
The Ferndale School Board then voted at its February 25, 2020 meeting to place the levy on the April 2020 ballot at a rate of $2.17 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Please note, this presentation has been revised in several version updates as the school district discusses, evaluates and refines how our budget may be impacted. We will provide any further updates and revisions to the presentation information on this website page with revision dates noted. 

(Revised Version 2/24/20) Levy Failure: Next Steps


​​​​​​Archived February 2020 School Programs & Operations Replacement Levy Resources
Archived Facebook Live Broadcasts