N/GRVSD seeks OK for enrichment levy
December 10, 2020
In February, an enrichment levy for the Naselle Grays River School District will be on the ballot.
It is a replacement levy, traditionally called a Maintenance and Operations Levy, which is brought before voters in the district every three years. The current levy of $450,000/year ends on December 31, 2021.
“The new terminology is enrichment levy,” Superintendent Lisa Nelson said, “which is a little more accurate. When people think of maintenance and operations, they often think of roofing, siding, things like that. While it does include some small repairs, it is not a capital projects type of maintenance levy. What it really stands for is maintenance of programs.”
The levy helps pay for anything outside of the basic education formula. It supports extracurricular and enrichment opportunities like sports, drama, band, advanced math and science, foreign language, and vocational programs. It helps pay for travel to and from activities and events, and pays stipends for coaches and advisors,
“A levy would help set us on par with a larger school district who might have these offerings naturally. We want our kids to continue to have the programs that we have supported in the past,” Nelson said.
This time, the district is asking for $579,000 per year for three years, which comes to approximately $1.71 per $1,000 of assessed home value.
Collection for the proposed levy would begin in 2022 and continue through 2024.
“It’s an important thing for our kids. I think about my childhood, if we didn’t have our sports or creative outlets,” Nelson said, rueing the loss of activities because of covid-19.
“If we lost those things due to funding, it would be a whole different animal,” she continued. “We are trying to do everything we can to get our kids back out there, competing and enjoying some of these things. But it’s not all about sports, it’s also about other opportunities. Where we are a small school, we can bring kids classes online. If we don’t have the extra funds, that is not something we are going to be able to do. We’re small enough that we don’t have someone who can do two or three foreign languages or several levels of math or science, so we use those levy dollars to be able to provide those enhancements for kids who need it or want it.”