Spokane Public Schools not moving forward with supplemental levy

Spokane Public Schools
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SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Public Schools Board voted in a meeting Wednesday night to not put a supplemental levy to voters.

It failed after a 3-2 vote.

The levy would have helped generate funds lost by the school district after the $31 million deficit they began the 2019-20 year with. The district weathered the budget shortfall by eliminating specialist positions.

RELATED: Spokane Public Schools looks at bringing back school specialists following massive budget cuts, layoffs

This levy would have been put on the April 2020 special election ballot and would have been instituted January 1, 2021. If passed, it would have increased the local levy tax rate to $2.50 per thousand dollars of assessed property value; which is the maximum tax rate allowed by law, according to the Budget Leadership Team.

For the school district, this means they will have to continue to operate with a tighter budget. The state Supreme Court signed off on the ‘McCleary fix,’ which called for the state to take over education funding, leaving the district without local levy money.

Due to their financial belt-tightening over the 2019-2020 school year, Spokane Public Schools says they have room in the budget to consider bringing those specialist positions back.