Levy Issues-February 2018

Three Renewal Levies on the February 2018 Ballot

Image of Number One Renewal Two-Year Educational Programs and Operations Levy

The two-year Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy (formerly M&O Levy) is the only locally approved ballot measure that directly pays for basic general classroom and operational needs such as special education, curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and staff salaries that are not fully funded by the state. Like a subscription, local school levies must be renewed with the approval of voters or the funding will be lost. Our current levy expires in 2018! If renewed, the EP&O Levy will allow the District to collect $81.2M over two years, which represents 15% of our total operating budget or 15¢ of every classroom dollar.

What is funded by the EP&O Levy?

Category Items Funded
Student Support and Safety Net
  • Nurses
  • Mental health counselors
  • Student support coaches
  • Security staff

Academic Programs and Classroom Supports

  • Certificated and classified staff for
    Special Education, Highly Capable, and
    English Language Learner programs
  • Paraeducators
  • Professional development for teachers
    including professional learning days,
    training, and workshops
  • Substitute teachers
  • Career and Technical Education/STEM learning

  • Early Childhood Learning

  • Curriculum materials and training
  • Reduced class sizes

Activities, Athletics and Enrichment

  • Activities and club advisors
  • All extracurricular activities
  • Sports
  • Athletic Directors
  • Coaches


  • Transportation
  • Substitute classified staff
  • Maintenance staff
  • Custodians


  • High school schedules that create opportunities for acceleration,
    exploration, and remediation.
  • Elementary Dual Language program
  • New teacher mentoring program
  • More academic guidance counselors
  • Increased mental health counselors and support
  • Expanded Early Learning programs

Average Annual
Levy Amount Per Year

$40.6 million ($81.2M total over two years)

image of bus at Issaquah High School

Image of Number two Renewal School Bus Levy: Health, Safety, and Efficiency

If renewed, the School Bus Levy will provide $2 million in 2019 to purchase 76 buses to enable the District's fleet to run as safely, cleanly, and efficiently as possible. The levy will allow the District to collect state funding to offset the cost of bus purchases, ensure alignment with state safety standards, and provide the most efficient buses, allowing the District to preserve more operational dollars for the classroom.

Renewal Capital Levy: Educational Technology and Critical Repairs Image of Number Three

The four-year Capital Levy includes two components: educational technology and critical repairs for each school District-wide. If renewed, the District will collect nearly $54 million for technology and $14.5 million for critical repairs over the life of the levy. For technology, these dollars will fund replacement of aging computers, printers, servers, and document cameras, staff training, development of online classes/educational opportunities, school tech specialists, upgrades of wireless Internet, safety and efficiency software for school bus operations, and continued upgrades to District websites, emergency alert systems, and other e-communications. For critical repairs, the Capital Levy includes maintenance of heating and cooling systems, additional portable classroom space, safety and security upgrades.

Kindergarten students working on desktop computers

Fast Facts

  • Local Tax Impact: In the Issaquah School District, the local school tax rate is expected to decrease an estimated $0.69 per $1,000 in 2019 and $0.49 in 2020.
  • State School Taxes/HB2242: The state portion of school taxes will increase an estimated $0.96/$1,000 and may be further increased by the State Department of Revenue.
  • Financial Management: The Issaquah School District has the highest bond rating Moody’s (Aaa) & Standard & Poors AA+ of any public school district in Washington State. In fact, less than 0.45% of school districts in the entire nation hold a AAA rating from Moody's. The District has received fifteen consecutive “clean” Financial and Accountability Audits.
Graph 1 - School Levy (Combined State and Local)

Chart #1 Shows the Total Combined Levy including all three local replacement levies, local construction bonds, and the state school levy. The higher tax rate in 2018 is the result of the new state tax and the final collection of the local levy that expires in 2018. Combined tax rates would then begin to level off from 2019-2022.

The total combined tax rate for state and local school levies and construction bonds in 2017 was $6.09 per $1,000 of assessed property value (APV). The total combined rate for state and local school levies and construction bonds will be an estimated $6.92 per $1,000 APV in 2018, then drop back down to an estimated $6.24 per $1,000 in APV in 2019, and increase to $6.49 per $1,000 APV in 2020.

Graph 2 - State Common Schools vs. Local EP&O (Rate per $1000)
Chart #2 Focuses on the Two-Year Educational Programs and Operations Levy and reflects the shift in property taxes between state and local school levies due to the new school funding legislation enacted by Washington State in June, 2017. Beginning in 2018, the rate of the state portion of school taxes will increase by an estimated $0.96 per $1,000 of assessed property value. The Issaquah School District’s local EP&O levy rate is being reduced by an estimated $0.69 per $1,000 in 2019 and $0.49 in 2020.