• Bainbridge Island School District

    2017 School Renewal Levies FAQs

    UPDATE: Thank you to the supportive Bainbridge Island community for approving the continuation of the EP&O and Tech levies in February 2017. According to the official election results, both were approved at the rate of 75.1% and 74.3%, respectively. 


    Q: Why is BISD proposing a renewal of the EP&O Levy?

    A: The state of Washington does not fully fund K-12 public schools. In its McCleary decision, the Washington State Supreme Court ordered the state to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by Article IX of the Washington Constitution:

    "It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex." - Article IX of Washington Constitution

    The state legislature has yet to comply with the Supreme Court Order. Instead, school districts continue to rely on local support (levies) to fill the gap between state funding and the true cost of educating students. In recent history, BISD has never operated without local levy support.

    • The renewal EP&O levy replaces the expiring current levy (which voters approved in 2014).

    • BISD ranks 211 out of 295 school districts in total per pupil revenue (state, local and federal revenue). More than 70% of Washington state school districts receive better funding than BISD. Source: OSPI’s School Apportionment & Financial Services - Publications - Financial Summary - Section 3

    • If the legislature fails to fully fund education, the EP&O levy acts as an insurance policy and will continue providing local funding for BISD.

    Q:  What does the EP&O levy pay for?

    A:  Money generated from the EP&O levy touches all areas of BISD programming. Examples are:

    • Staffing

    • Utilities such as power and water

    • Programs to meet student instructional needs such as Special Education, Remedial Reading and Math, English Language Learners

    • Professional development

    • Student transportation

    • Student activities such as student athletics and clubs  

    Q: How much does the district rely on the renewal EP&O levy?

    A: The EP&O levy provides 22% of BISD’s operating budget. In 2016-17, together the EP&O and Technology levies provided $10.12 million towards BISD’s $44 million operating budget, or 23%.

    Q: How is the EP&O levy amount determined?

    A: The state allows districts to run levies and imposes limits to the amount districts can collect. This is referred to as the levy lid. BISD’s EP&O levy lid is currently 28.98% of the base allocation. The base allocation is set by the prior year’s state and federal dollars.BISD cannot collect more than what the lid allows.

    Q: Do all school districts in the state have the same EP&O levy lid?

    A: No. Some districts collect at a much higher rate and some have slightly lower rates. When school funding laws changed in the 1970s, levy lids were “grandfathered” in and some school districts collect more funds through higher levy lids.

    • Mercer Island School District’s levy = 37.67%

    • Seattle School District’s levy = 36.9%

    • Bellevue School District’s levy = 34.66%

    • Shoreline School District’s levy = 31.9%

    • Bainbridge Island School District’s levy = 28.98%

    Q: What is the renewal EP&O levy amount?

    A: The proposed renewal levy would replace the existing levy approved by voters in 2014. Resolution No. 1-16-17 authorizes a four-year levy in the following amounts:

    • $10.4M in 2018

    • $10.6M in 2019

    • $10.8M in 2020

    • $11.0M in 2021

    Q: What are the proposed tax rates for the EP&O levy?

    A: The estimated tax rate for the next four years of the EP&O levy is:

    • 2018 = $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2019 = $1.51 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2020 = $1.52 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2021 = $1.54 per $1,000 assessed value


    Q: Why does BISD need a technology levy?

    A: The state does not provide designated funding for technology.

    • Without a tech levy, the general fund would be impacted as money would be diverted from it to pay for technology.

    Q: How does technology impact student learning?

    A: Technology has become an integral part of the educational landscape and it’s embedded into our curriculum. Twenty-first-century learning standards call for students to use technology to collaborate, think critically, create and communicate. Examples are:

    • Write and submit an online team assignment, allowing students to work anytime, anywhere. (Collaborate)

    • Use science probeware to replicate and seek solutions for real-world conditions. (Think critically)

    • Write and develop code to solve engineering challenges. (Create)

    • Communicate electronically with peers and teachers to receive real-time feedback both when in and out of the classroom. (Communicate)

    Q: Don’t students on Bainbridge Island have their own computers at home to use?
    A: Surveys of Bainbridge Island parents and students indicate that while most households have a computer, there are multiple family members who need to use it, leaving siblings and parents to compete to use the home computer. In the 2016-17 school year, 7th- and 8th-grade students have been issued a Chromebook by BISD. Chromebooks provide equity of access to online classwork and Internet-based learning resources. Chromebooks alleviate some obstacles to learning, allowing students to complete homework when and where it fits with their schedules.
    Q: How does BISD help students have access to learning resources beyond the school day?
    A: Many textbooks and learning resources are posted online. With Internet access and a device, students can get to learning resources when and where they need to use them. Providing a Chromebook to students in grades 7 & 8 helps students communicate and collaborate both in class and beyond the school day. This take-home-device program will expand to other grade levels based on curriculum requirements and student learning goals.
    Q: How does BISD decide which devices to purchase?
    A: Devices are chosen to 1)meet curriculum requirements, 2) help students reach learning goals, and 3) create an affordable and sustainable device plan.
    The Technology Department works with the Curriculum & Instruction Department, key stakeholders and staff to match the right technology tools to instruction and learning needs.
    Q: How does BISD plan for technology?
    A: Technology tools and resources emerge at a rate faster than the world of education has experienced with other innovations. As a result, BISD’s Technology Department monitors industry forecasts and stays on top of national research regarding best practices.The Technology Department also communicates with other school districts to learn of technology successes and challenges.The Technology Department also seeks input from staff, students and parents to hear about what students need to be successful 
    Q: What are the goals and rationale for what will be purchased with technology levy funds?
    A: In its planning, BISD uses five categories for identifying technology needs. To learn more, click on each link below, or on this web page
    Communications & Productivity


    Q: How have previous technology levy funds been used?

    A: Technology levy funds are used to provide technology hardware, software, web-based resources, and training to meet BISD's technology goals as outlined in the strategic plans. Read a summary of the project progress at the midway point in the 2014 Technology Levy. For more detail, read the monthly reports about project progress submitted to the School Board. 

    Q: How will the technology levy funds be allocated?

    A: Technology funds impact student learning through five focus areas: 1. Learning, 2. Teaching, 3. Assessment, 4. Infrastructure & Network, and 5. Communications & Productivity.


    Q: What is the renewal technology levy amount?

    A: BISD is asking voters to approve the same amount that was approved in 2014, $2.2 million per year. Resolution No. 2-16-17 authorizes a four-year levy in the following amounts:

    • $2.2M in 2018

    • $2.2M in 2019

    • $2.2M in 2020

    • $2.2M in 2021

    Q: What are the proposed tax rates for the Technology levy?

    A:  The estimated tax rate for the next four years of the tech levy is:

    • 2018 = $0.32 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2019 = $0.31 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2020 = $0.31 per $1,000 assessed value

    • 2021 = $0.31 per $1,000 assessed value

    Q: What would happen if the tech levy isn’t approved?

    A: Technology is an integral part of the educational experience at BISD. Without a renewal,  BISD will have to take money from the general operating fund to pay for technology expenses such as internet, equipment and software.


    Q: What is BISD’s budget breakdown?

    A: For the 2016-17 school year, BISD has a budget of $44.8 million and is divided as follows:

    • Salaries and Benefits = 86%

    • Purchased services, such as utilities, insurance = 9%

    • Materials and supplies = 4%

    • Other, such as equipment purchases, work-related travel = 1%

    Q: Why doesn’t BISD take some funds received for the Blakely re-build and use the money for other expenses, such as teacher salaries?

    A: There are two funds crucial to school finance: the General Fund and Capital Projects Fund. The General Fund pays for the day-to-day operations of schools. The Capital Projects Fund pays for construction and capital outlays, such as buildings and technology. There are strict guidelines governing the use of these funds.  

    Q: What are the projected school tax rates for 2018 - 2021?

    Projected Total Local School Tax Rates


    Renewal EP&O       Tech        Bond        Local School Tax Rate

    2018     1.50                    .32           1.52          $3.34

    2019     1.51                    .31           1.54          $3.36

    2020     1.52                    .31           1.54          $3.37

    2021     1.54                    .31           1.53          $3.38

    Q: How do local school taxes compare with other school districts?

                                     Median Assessed Home Value      Total Annual School Tax

    Bainbridge Island       $535,555                                            $1,633

    Bellevue                     $640,000                                            $2,009

    Issaquah                    $587,000                                            $2,408

    Mercer Island             $982,000                                            $2,435

    North Kitsap               $305,000                                            $1,323


    Q: When will the election be held?

    A: The election is on Tuesday, February 14, 2017.

    Q: When will ballots be mailed to voters?

    A: Kitsap County uses a mail-in ballot system.The Kitsap County Auditor will mail ballots to voters in late January. All ballots must be postmarked or deposited at a polling location before 8 p.m. on February 14. The Bainbridge Island polling location is located in parking lot of the Aquatic Center.

    Q: What will be on the ballot?




    The Board of Directors of Bainbridge Island School District No. 303 adopted

    Resolution No. 1-16-17, concerning a replacement levy for educational programs and operations. This proposition would re-authorize the continuation of levies to support educational programs and services, including teaching, instructional support, school supplies, extracurricular activities and transportation, and authorizes the following excess levies to replace an expiring levy on all taxable property within the District:

    Collection Years   Approximate Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value   Levy Amount

    2018                                               $1.50                                      $10,400,000

    2019                                               $1.51                                      $10,600,000

    2020                                               $1.52                                      $10,800,000

    2021                                               $1.54                                      $11,000,000

    Should this proposition be approved?

    YES ......................................[]

    NO ........................................[]




    The Board of Directors of Bainbridge Island School District No. 303 adopted

    Resolution No. 2-16-17, concerning a replacement technology levy to advance

    student learning. This proposition would authorize the District to modernize

    school facilities through the acquisition, installation and improvement of

    computer technology and telecommunication systems, equipment and facilities,

    and levy the following excess taxes, to replace an expiring levy, on all taxable

    property within the District:

    Collection Years   Approximate Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value   Levy Amount

    2018                                               $0.32                                       $ 2,200,000

    2019                                               $0.31                                       $ 2,200,000

    2020                                               $0.31                                       $ 2,200,000

    2021                                               $0.31                                       $ 2,200,000

    Should this proposition be approved?

    YES .....................................[]

    NO .......................................[]

    Q: What is required for a levy to pass?

    A: Levies pass with a simple majority, which is 50% + 1 vote. The percentage is based on all who vote in the election, not total registered voters.