These enrichment levies are driving us to McCleary 2.0

These enrichment levies are driving us to McCleary 2.0

A response to SB 5956: “An act relating to enrichment levies.”

By Jeff Heckathorn, School Data Project

sb 5956

After the McCleary 1.0 Decision, taxpayers were told that local school district levies would be eliminated – The Levy Swap, remember?

Then taxpayers were told that these post McCleary Decision local levies, that were reintroduced at the last minute, would be just for a little amount and would only be for student enrichment programs.

But what has happened is that each school district negotiates salaries in a silo without taxpayer and legislator input. That is how salaries ratchet up. And then districts, since they didn’t have the discipline to say no to union demands or no to equally bloated administrator pay, tap into the student enrichment levies to fund higher and higher salaries.

And we are talking higher compensations starting at the chief administrator of each of these school districts. As of the latest OSPI data, for the 2022-2023 school year, 21 school district superintendents collected more than $400,000 in total compensation from taxpayer taxes. And there were 3 school district superintendents compensated (by taxpayers) at over $500,000 for the school year. One was over $600,000!

They all were compensated much more than the governor!

And note that our public charter schools do not collect a dime from local school district enrichment levies or from local school district bonds.

And to add insult to injury, these districts, at election time, tell voters that they better vote to approve the latest Enrichment Levy (that they still incorrectly call EP&O Levies) or the music teacher will have to be let go and sports will be canceled. These districts can’t even be honest with taxpayers.


School Data Project

OSPI Excel Files

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