The Ferndale School Board will ask voters to replace the current School Programs and Operations Levy in the November 3 election. The district will ask voters to approve the levy at $1.50 per thousand of assessed value for two years – lower than the current rate of 2.17 per thousand of assessed value.
This is not a new tax. If approved, the levy replaces the current levy used to fund schools, which expires in January 2021.
Ferndale School Board President Andrew McLaurin says, “We recognize these are difficult times for our community and our nation. However, after a levy failure in February we need to again ask our community to consider approving our local levy, which allow us to help pay for school staff, programs, technology and student services and opportunities.”
The district is cutting 102 positions for the 2020-21 school year due to the February levy failure. The levy, at this lower amount, will allow the district to restore some programs and reduce the need for future cuts.
In Ferndale, levy funding would protect jobs for staff and programs for our students, including:
- School staff. The levy funds nurses, teachers, security officers, counselors and paraeducators, beyond what our state allocates.
- School services and programs. The levy funds and supports special education, advanced learning, lower class sizes and our 8-period high school schedule, which allows more elective classes.
- Technology for both school and at-home learning. The levy funds much-needed technology for our students and staff, including providing students in grades 6-12 their own computer, which can be used for both classroom and at home learning.
- Student services and opportunities. The levy allows our students to participate in extracurricular activities like athletics, music, drama and clubs.