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Shortfall Continues with District Fund Balance
District Budget Deficit Projected
Posted on 07/09/2020
District Budget Deficit Projected

Faced with a projected $27.6  million deficit over the next three years, the Puyallup School Board approved placing a two-year Supplemental Educational Programs and Operations Levy on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot.

Local levies play a vital role for the district to fill the gap between state and federal funding and the actual costs of providing critical services to students. Levies fund essential staff, health/safety and security operations, educational and extracurricular programs, mental health supports, and year-round facility maintenance of Puyallup schools

While the impacts of the shutdown resulted in modest savings, the District is still projecting budget deficits. There are still several unknown factors that could impact fund balance including federal relief funds and additional expenditures necessary to implement continuous learning in the fall.

  • Levy dollars provide for highly trained teachers and staff. The most significant cost covered by the Educational Programs and Operations Levy is staffing and compensation. Competitive salaries are critical because they allow Puyallup to compete for and hire highly qualified teachers and support staff.

  • The Operations Department provides a safe, clean, and optimum learning environment for students and staff. They are responsible for day-to-day cleaning and repairs and keep school buildings running efficiently.

  • Levy dollars help the District maintain reasonable class sizes. They also pay for text-books and learning materials used in the classroom.

  • Music, arts, and athletic programs are mainly funded through levy dollars.

Puyallup has the lowest tax rate in comparison to neighboring districts. The proposed increase would continue to keep Puyallup homeowner’s tax rates the lowest.

Tax Rates Chart

  • An increase of 49 cents over current total bond and levy tax rates.

  • Based on this estimation, in 2021 the owner of a $200,000 home, for example, would pay $864 a year in property taxes to support students ($200,000 divided by $1,000 multiplied by $4.32).

  • This is $436 less than the cost to Puyallup homeowners in 2015.

“Right now, it’s critical that we seriously consider a supplemental levy to get us through the next few years for continued sustainability,” says Corine Pennington Assistant Superintendent of Business and Support Services.