On February 9, 2021, Oak Harbor voters approved a replacement levy for the Oak Harbor Public Schools. The levy replaced the existing levy that expired at the end of the 2021 calendar year and will run through 2025.
Local levies are particularly powerful due to local control. Oak Harbor has been able to invest local dollars based on the community's priorities without state or federal government interference. This is why the local levy has made such a profound difference for students. Typically, the levy covers expenses for programs that are not covered by the state's definition of "Basic Education." This replacement will continue to fund programs like athletics, after-school clubs, and other award-winning programs, but many of the resources will be used to support student well-being and social-emotional learning that was suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Estimated amounts for the approved replacement levy are listed below.
Local levy dollars support vital programs and services for students not covered under “basic education” or underfunded by the state. Despite a State Supreme Court order, even “basic education” is currently not fully-funded. In Oak Harbor, federal “Impact Aid” funds are also used to bridge this gap.
Local levy dollars impact 631 staff members and countless programs. These include advanced placement classes, special education, the arts, safety and building maintenance, technology, curriculum, para-educators, athletics, clubs, after-school programs, and more. Our local levy has also increased school safety through additional security cameras, fencing, and exterior lighting, updated K-12 technology, and curriculum, as well as funding the 28 classrooms necessary to serve nearly 600 more full-time students since 2013.
The graph below compares Oak Harbor Public Schools previous levy dollars per student with neighboring school districts. Oak Harbor's current levy per student is in the bottom 20 percent in the state. Oak Harbor receives additional funding from federal Impact Aid and from “state levy match.” Even with all of these revenue sources combined, Oak Harbor is below most of its neighbors in local revenue per student. Oak Harbor has truly achieved more with less.
The maximum levy rate for Washington State is $2.50 per $1000 of assessed value. The current levy rate for Oak Harbor Public Schools is $1.92 for 2023, well below the maximum rate. If you have any questions about the levy or changes that it may have to your taxes, please contact our front office at 360-279-5000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.