The Ferndale School Board has made the decision to postpone a School Programs and Operations Levy request scheduled for the April 28 election.
Ferndale School Board President Andrew McLaurin says, “Our School Board came together via a video conference call on Tuesday night. We made the decision to delay the levy, likely until the August election. As we continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19 and focus on helping students and families deal with the effects of closing schools, we see this as the right decision for our community while we are in the midst of a public health crisis.”
The need to renew these levy funds will 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.
During this time, the Ferndale School District will focus on ensuring students have the nutrition they need by providing access to meals while schools are closed. In addition, the District will work with our community partners to help provide support services, childcare and any online learning opportunities for our students.
The District will continue to provide updates to staff and families as we learn more about the ever-changing landscape and how our schools and community are impacted.
A reminder that updates will be shared via email, phone call, and social media. The Ferndale School District Center for COVID-19 Information will be updated regularly.
The District will revisit the discussion around the levy and funding, when the time is right. Like all districts, Ferndale will need to budget this spring for the 2020-21 school year and will have to make cuts to staff and programs without knowing if the levy will be approved in August.
Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn says, “I have worked in education in Washington State for 40 years. The rules around education funding have changed a lot during that time but one thing has remained constant – the State has always required local districts to seek local funding for a portion of district operating budgets. While we are always tightening our belt, we will now have to make very difficult budget decisions, as the levy funds about 13 percent of our overall budget. We are hopeful that we will be able to restore some funding for staff, programs and student opportunities with renewal of the levy in August.”