PORT ANGELES – Voters in the Port Angels School District are being asked to renew a school levy on the upcoming general election ballot.

The proposed EP&O levy rate is $1.50 per $1,000 assessed property value. District officials say that is a reduction from the 2018 $3.01 EP&O levy rate. If approved, it would be a four-year levy, bringing in about five and half million dollars.

Superintendent Marty Brewer says the state has restructured funding for schools. But this money would be used for programs and staff not covered under the state’s “prototypical model”, programs the school board deemed essential for the community.

“An example being we have 11 counselors in our system. Five of the 11 are funded from the state of Washington. Another example is music teachers. Music teachers are not part of the basic education funding model. We have 11 teachers in our system and all 11 teachers are paid by local funds. That’s a local choice. We have four nurses in our system. The state, through the prototypical model,  funds a half of a nurse. So for 3,500 students we get a half or a four-hour nurse.”

Brewer says the funding won’t be collected until 2022.

“With regards to the pandemic, the timing is not perfect to say the least. It is a challenging time. But this EP &O will really take effect hopefully after the pandemic. So we really have to keep things in perspective. This is about after the pandemic and making sure that we have all the services that you know this taxpayers and parents expect.

Ballots go out next week for the general election. They’re due back in an official drop box or postmarked by November 3rd.