Bonds & Levies
Monroe School District receives funding from four sources: the federal government (4%), Washington state (72%), local voter-approved bonds & levies (24%), and grants & other sources (10%).
Federal Government Funding
The federal government provides financial support for high-poverty schools and students who require additional resources in order to obtain a fair, equitable, high-quality education. Federal dollars pay for a percentage of programs including Vocational Education, Special Education, Native American Education, English Language Acquisition, Disability and Nutrition as well as special grants.
Washington State Funding
The Basic Education Act of 1997 set a formula for giving each of the state’s school districts a certain dollar amount for every Full Time Equivalent (FTE) student (or, each student attending school all day). For students who need extra services, such as Special Education programs, Gifted Education, or Bilingual Education, there are state and federal formulas for additional dollars.
School districts receive local funding through levy and bond measures. Both are approved by the voters and are based upon local property valuations. Property owners pay a set amount for each $1,000 of their assessed property values. Once approved, levy and bond amounts cannot be increased. When community property values increase, the amount paid per $1,000 decreases. There are exemptions for senior citizens who meet income requirements.
What is the Difference Between Bonds & Levies?
Simply stated, levies are for learning, and bonds are for building.
In the Monroe School District, we are very grateful to voters for their ongoing support of school levies and bonds. The children of our community benefit every day from the resources provided by you, the voters.
Bonds are financed over a long period of time, generally 12 to 20 years and are comparable to a home mortgage. Bonds must be approved by 60% plus one vote. Upon their sale, bonds provide funds only for capital projects, such as:
- New schools
- Acquisition of property
- Renovation or modernization of schools and athletic facilities
By law, bonds may not be used to pay for the day-to-day costs of operating schools or school districts.
By law, school districts can only run program levies for a maximum of four years. Capital levies may run for up to six years. Levies must be approved by 50% plus one vote. Levy dollars support student enrichment programs not fully funded by the state, such as:
- Student programs
- Teacher pay, for additional teachers above the state minimum
- Instructional assistants in classrooms
- Textbooks, curriculum, and teacher training
- Additional course offerings for students
- Arts and music
- Special education
- Bus transportation (not fully funded by the state)
- Building and grounds maintenance (not fully funded by the state)
- Computers and technology
- Gifted education programs
- Community use of facilities
Typically, school districts propose levies of two, three, or four years. After the allotted number of years, the levy expires. Voters must approve a renewal of funding, or local financial support for schools ends. Generally, the levy you are voting on simply replaces one that is about to expire.