Vancouver Public Schools expects to see a short-term increase in funding from the state of Washington for the 2018–19 school year.
In response, the district will apply nearly $3.8 million to increased staffing costs for classrooms and schools; materials, supplies and operational costs; and unfunded employee benefit costs. VPS also will use $2.8 million to discontinue the reliance on reserve funds, which were used to stabilize staffing and programs for students in the district’s 2017–18 budget.
After these deductions, the district will have an estimated $14.6 million. Part of the boost comes from increased state levy collections that legislators implemented in 2018 to help meet the state’s constitutional obligation to provide full funding for K-12 education.
The $14.6 million will not be sustained beyond the 2018–19 school year, however; $10 million of it will be offset in 2019–20, when the state of Washington scales back VPS’ local levy dollars. In other words, $10 million of the increase is a one-time revenue.
Property taxes for schools
This year, Washington legislators developed a budget to meet the requirements of the Supreme Court (McCleary v. State) decision. As a result, the state increased its schools levy rate and will redistribute the money across all Washington districts.
Only in 2018, local school levy rates were not affected.
In 2019, the state will maintain its schools levy rate. Local school levy rates will be scaled back to $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed property value. This is known as the levy swap. The changes will not affect voter-approved school bonds.