Riverview schools put supplemental levy on August ballot

The Lower Valley's Riverview School District is going to voters this summer with a four-year supplemental Maintenance and Operations levy.

The levy increases the operations levy amount approved by Riverview voters last September. District officials say it locally replaces funds cut at the state level.

When district officials were planning the original $5.8 million M&O levy last year, they had real concerns on what a sluggish economy had done to residents, said Superintendent Conrad Robertson. That caused the district to limit its request to the community.

But last March, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed into law a new bill allowing districts a higher levy lid, allowing schools to ask voters for additional funds and spurring a new request.

"The thing we want to stress is we're not enhancing anything," Robertson said. "We're not getting new dollars to do new things, we're just replacing a portion of what the legislature has cut."

In the last two years, Riverview School District has lost $1.6 million in state funding. The supplemental levy would provide about $1.1 million over the next four years.The additional funding will restore a portion of the teaching positions and class materials that have been cut.

The district is using reserve funds to keep maintain seven teachers in the district. Without the supplemental levy, those positions cannot be sustained another year, according to Robertson.

If approved, the owner of a $350,000 home would pay about $11.10 per month, or $133 per year, for the new levy.

The levy will be on all-mail ballot that voters will receive in August.

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