Nineteen percent of the Peninsula School District budget was supported by a levy tax passed in 2002, which is about to expire. In order to maintain the current budget for 2006-09, voters must approve the continuance of the levy for the next four years. The replacement levy will not increase taxes, according to Peninsula District officials, and at an estimated $2.25 per $1,000 of assessed property value the first year ($2.17 thereafter), they say it is the second lowest school levy tax rate in all of Pierce County.

The request to approve the replacement levy will be on the ballot Feb. 8 for Gig Harbor and Key Pen voters. There is no organized opposition to the levy replacement proposal but there must be a 60 percent registered voter turnout to validate the election.

The levy money budget of about $14.8 million per year is monitored by an audit committee comprised of community members. “The Peninsula School District audit committee assures accountability for the expenditure of all levy dollars,” says Marcia Harris, PSD deputy superintendent. It is the committee’s job to check on how the dollars are spent and on the results. The levy-spending plan for 2006- 2009 budgets top dollars for curriculum, district operations (maintenance and technology support), and workforce support (office, paraprofessional and professional support and development).

“Levy funding provides salaries for 25 teachers, 50 percent of custodial staff, 60 percent of clerical staff and instructional assistants, 80 percent of technical support staff and health technicians for every school,” according to information from Citizens for Peninsula Schools, a group that promotes the election with the slogan “Great communities support great schools.”

Information about the levy election is available at www.supportgreatschools.com or by calling the district at 857-3500.

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