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School districts to begin levy failure postmortems

February 21, 2012

The Deer Park and Riverside School District officials will begin assessing what went wrong with their various levy requests last week.
Voters rejected Deer Park’s three-year, $2 million annual maintenance and operations levy along with Riverside’s $2.55 million educational programs and operations and $1.2 million facilities and technology capital projects levies.
Deer Park voters rejected the M&O levy 1,697-1,645. A simple majority is needed for passage.
Deer Park residents in Spokane County agreed with the request 1,219-1,124 but did not have enough of a majority to offset the rejection by Stevens County voters 573-426.
The levy request at $2.59 per $1,000 of property valuation was hampered in Stevens County by a surge in property valuations this winter.
The Nine Mile School District, which also encompasses Spokane and Stevens counties, received more than 50 percent approval in both regions.
If the levy does not pass, the Deer Park School District will not be eligible for almost $2 million in state levy equalization funds.
The Riverside requests did not come close to passage.
The operations levy was rejected 2,272-1,475 and the capital projects levy was rejected 2,534-1,244.
Riverside is eligible for $1 million in levy equalization funds, but can only collect the money if the educational programs levy passes.
State law allows school districts that fail a levy to try again one more time in the calendar year.

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