April 2024 Replacement Levy

As of Wednesday, April 24, the Replacement Levy is passing. Thank you, voters, for your continued support of Tahoma students, teachers, support staff and educational programs!

This April,  the Tahoma School District is proposing a ballot measure to replace its expiring Educational Programs & Operations (EP&O) Levy. The EP&O Levy accounts for 17% of the district's general fund revenues. The Replacement Levy would maintain funding for Tahoma's current staff and programs. If the April levy does not pass, the school board must adopt a budget for next year with at least $15 million in cuts.

What's on the Ballot:

Replacement of Educational Programs and Operations Levy
2-Year Renewal of Expiring Levy
$2.50 per $1,000 of Assessed Value (AV)
Year Rate/$1,000 Total Collection
2025 $2.50 $28,265,963
2026 $2.50 $29,746,071

King County Elections —Ballot Measure Details 

Why is the levy needed?

Washington State provides funding to K-12 public school districts for "basic education." Many educational and extracurricular programs, staff, services and technology that Tahoma provides its students are unfunded or not fully funded by the state or other sources. Local levies close the funding gap.

Almost all Washington state school districts propose levies to their local communities. In fact, each of the other 19 school districts in King County collect an EP&O Levy (sometimes called and "Education Levy" or "Enrichment Levy"), as approved by their district's voters.

Tahoma's current Educational Programs & Operations Levy will expire at the end of 2024. The proposed replacement levy will maintain funding for 2025 and 2026.

Without levy funding, Tahoma would be the lowest-funded district per student in King County and would be unable to provide the resources of neighboring districts. 

2022-23 Spend per KC District

What's Funded by the EP&O Levy:

  • Elementary STEM, art, music, and Future Ready classes
  • Mental health programming
  • Special Education
  • Math Assistance Program (MAP)
  • Reading Assistance Program (RAP)
  • Sports, student clubs and activities
  • Safety & Security
  • Professional development & trainings
  • Administrative assistants
  • Librarians
  • School psychologists
  • Highly Capable program
  • Substitute Teachers
  • School Counselors
  • Community use of district facilities
  • Field trips, including Camp Casey
  • Nutrition Services
  • Zero hour classes
  • Preschool
  • Paraeducators
  • Elective classes
  • Assistant principals and deans
  • Central Services support positions
  • Maintenance equipment
  • Multilingual Learners (MLL) program
  • Materials, supplies, utilities, insurance

Breakdown of EP&O Levy Spending:

Levy Breakdown by Area

What's included in each category?

Programs directly involved in the instruction and education of students. These funds pay for staff positions to teach classes and run programs unfunded or not fully funded by the state. Sports, clubs & activities are included in this category.

Programs for students who receive special education services and who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP). These funds pay for staff positions and materials beyond what state and federal dollars provide.

Programs associated with career preparation courses, like middle and high school Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs. These funds help pay for operational costs of these programs.

Programs designed to assist student participation in regular instruction programs, such as math/reading assistance and multilingual programs.

Examples include the Highly Capable program, Transition to Kindergarten (TK) and AP classes.

Programs that benefit the whole community or some segment of the community, such as facility rentals and the Extended Enrichment Program.

Programs that support educational programs in the district, like Nutrition Services, Transportation, Finance, Human Resources, and Safety & Security.

See Some Levy-Funded Programs in Action:

Frequently Asked Questions:

The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) pre-approves Tahoma School District's levy spending plan prior to each ballot measure. The Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) and OSPI also approve the district's annual operating budget, which includes expected levy revenue and general fund expenditures. OSPI publishes the district' annual budget on its website for public view.

Additionally, the district participates in an annual financial audit with the Washington State Auditor's Office (SAO). The SAO also performs an accountability audit to ensure the district is in compliance with state laws, regulations, board policies, board procedures, and has sound internal controls to safeguard its public resources.

All available audit reports can be found on the district's Budget 101 website: www.tahomasd.us/budget101 

As of April 2024, Tahoma School District has received 6-straight audit reports with no significant deficiencies, material weaknesses, or findings of instances of noncompliance.

To calculate the projected impact on your property taxes, divide your property's assessed value by $1,000, then multiply by the projected tax rate.


Since 2020, a portion of Tahoma’s costs have been paid for using available reserves in our general fund (bank account). The school board did this to run a lower levy rate. That account has been intentionally spent down, and no longer has the funds to support continued reserve-spending. Those funding gaps will now need to be covered through an increase in the levy rate, or significant cuts will be required.

The Tahoma School Board would be required to adopt a budget with a shortfall of at least $15 million for next school year. This would mean significant cuts to the levy-funded programs listed in the “What’s Funded by the EP&O Levy?” section above.

Yes. In fact, each of the other 19 school districts in King County collect an EP&O Levy (sometimes called an “Education Levy” or “Enrichment Levy”), as approved by their district’s voters. Nearly all Washington school districts propose local levies to their communities.

A replacement levy “replaces” an existing levy that is expiring. Tahoma’s Replacement Levy proposition is not a new tax. The proposed rate of $2.50 per $1,000 of assessed value is an increase from the current rate of $1.98. It is not an increase of $2.50 per thousand.

All staff positions will be impacted. Teachers and other certificated staff members whose positions are not eliminated would automatically lose their Professional Learning Enrichment (PLE) stipend, which makes up about 14% of the average salary. Classified staff members whose positions are not eliminated would lose a portion of their contracted raise. School and district administrators not eliminated would lose any stipend they currently receive.

Any program listed in the “What’s Funded by the EP&O Levy” section on the inside page is at risk of losing some or all of its funding with a levy failure in April. After the initial reductions in staff pay listed in the answer above, the board would still need to cut at least $7 million from the 2023-24 budget.

Any resident within the Tahoma School District boundaries who is registered to vote may vote for the Replacement Levy proposition in April. Citizens can register to vote at votewa.gov , and online/mail-in voter registrations must be received 8 days prior to Election Day (received by April 15).

Election Day is April 23, and ballots can be returned in a drop box or through USPS mail as early as April 5.

Visit the Tahoma Budget 101 website at: https://www.tahomasd.us/budget101 

For any levy-related questions or concerns, please email AJ Garcia, Public Relations Director for the Tahoma School District, at  [email protected].

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