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September 19, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgBudget-strapped school districts in Clark County on Monday said they’d need more time to suss out how the Legislature’s late-adopted operating budget will affect their finances. But one thing seems certain: There will be a lot more money available for education.And in the case of Vancouver and Evergreen public schools, it only took 13 lines of legislation to make it happen.A significantly amended version of Senate Bill 5313, which became something of a political football over the course of the legislative session, was approved by lawmakers late Sunday night. The bill lifts the cap on local school levies to $2.50 per $1,000 in assessed property value, up from the $1.50 per $1,000 legislators adopted two years ago.“Local communities should be able to decide what’s important to them when it comes to enrichment programs that fall outside the realm of basic education,” primary sponsor Sen. Lisa Wellman, D-Mercer Island, said in a statement. “And that’s what this bill allows. We brought the levy cap down too hard in 2017, and it’s time to make adjustments.”It also injects more than $7 million in one-time funding into Clark County’s two largest school districts. A 13-line amendment by Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, directs millions of dollars in additional local effort assistance money — state dollars given to school districts without a large property tax base to make up for lower tax revenue — into districts with more than 20,000 full-time students that are located “west of the Cascades in a county that borders another state.”Only Evergreen and Vancouver fit that description. Evergreen has projected budget deficits between $15 million and $18 million next school year, while Vancouver has projected $17 million in cuts.last_img read more