Why is local funding necessary? Isn’t the State required to pay for basic education?
The Educational Programs and Operations Levy accounts for approximately 13.3% of Ridgefield School District’s operating budget. Local funding through levies, bridge the gap between what the state pays and the actual costs of operating our schools. While other districts rely on multiple levies to fund technology, transportation, capital projects and educational programs, Ridgefield funds all these elements from a single levy.
I thought McCleary solved the need for levies. Why does the District need a levy?
McCleary funding provides more money to schools, but it does not eliminate the need for local levies. In fact, across Washington, nearly all of the 295 districts rely on levy money to provide important student programs and services. Local levies remain necessary to make up gaps in funding for essential services and community priorities, such as more special education, technology, athletics, extra-curricular programs, and social/emotional supports for students.
Did you know Ridgefield has the 2nd-lowest school tax rates in all of Clark County?
Ridgefield’s total school tax rate is $3.00 per $1,000 in assessed valuation, which is the second-lowest in the region. The average total school tax rate for neighboring K-12 school districts in the region is $3.60 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. Please see the chart below for the tax rates of each of the nine K-12 school districts in Clark County.
School Tax Rates /$1,000 Assessed Valuation
$$ Battle Ground - $2.48
$$$ Ridgefield - $3.00
$$$ Hockinson - $3.21
$$$$ Vancouver - $3.59
$$$$ Woodland - $3.74
$$$$ Evergreen - $3.79
$$$$$ La Center - $3.93
$$$$$ Washougal - $4.29
$$$$$ Camas - $4.38
If the levy passes, Ridgefield would still have the 2nd-lowest school tax rates in the county.
Can the school district use the money it collects in impact fees from new homes to offset the levy?
No. Impact fees are restricted to the Capital Project Fund. This revenue may only be spent on capital projects that serve new growth.