There were 60 school measures on the February 9th, 2021 ballot in Washington State. This report focuses on the levies that were advertised as replacement levies.

Contents

  • Summary
  • Summary table: Levies advertised as replacements to previous levies
  • Summary table: Measures without the words replacement or renewal in their titles
  • Summary chart: Replacement levies in descending order by the percent increase from their previous amounts
  • Summary table: Incongruent words used in school district created levy advertisements
  • Example replacement levy advertisement: Quillayute Valley SD
  • Example replacement levy advertisement: Spokane SD
  • Methodology
  • Sources

Summary

For the February 9th, 2021 special election:

  • There were 60 school measures in total from 50 school districts from 17 counties.
  • 54 measures were advertised as replacement or renewal levies.
  • 5 measures were advertised as capital levies without the words replacement or renewal in their titles.
  • 1 measure was a redistricting authorization measure and was not a levy.
  • 7 school districts had pro arguments in the voters’ guide for their measures.
  • 3 school districts had con arguments in the voters’ guide or voters’ pamphlet.
  • 43 school districts either didn’t allow pro/con arguments for the voters’ guide for their measures or could not find volunteers to write either argument.
  • 36 of the replacement advertised levies involve an increase in the amount over the previous levy ranging from 3% to 115% more.
  • 10 of the replacement advertised levies were the exact same in amount as the previous levy.
  • 8 of the replacement advertised levies were lower in amount compared to the previous levy.
  • 4 of the replacement advertised levies had shorter durations (fewer years) than their previous levy.
  • 7 of the replacement advertised levies had longer durations (more years) than their previous levy.
  • 42 measures had the words ‘Educational Programs and Operations’ in their titles.
  • 3 measures had the word ‘Enrichment’ instead of EP&O in their titles.
  • 1 measure had the words ‘Maintenance and Operations’ in its title.

Summary table: Levies advertised as replacements to previous levies

Replacement levies


Summary table: Measures without the words replacement or renewal in their titles

Replacement levies


Summary chart: Replacement levies in descending order by the percent increase from their previous amounts

Replacement levies Replacement levies


Summary table: Incongruent words used in school district created levy advertisements

Advertisement words


Example replacement levy advertisement: Quillayute Valley SD

The Quillayute Valley SD’s levy advertisement snapshots relating to costs published on the district’s website

Quillayute SD’s fact sheet website

Quillayute SD’s fact sheet snapshot

The authors’ analysis of the Quillayute SD’s replacement levy costs

Quillayute SD analysis


Example replacement levy advertisement: Spokane SD

The Spokane SD’s levy advertisement snapshots relating to costs published on the district’s website

Spokane SD’s fact sheet website

Spokane SD’s fact sheet snapshot 1

Spokane SD’s fact sheet snapshot 2

Spokane SD’s fact sheet snapshot 3

Spokane SD’s fact sheet snapshot 4

The authors’ analysis of the Spokane SD’s replacement levy costs

Spokane SD analysis


Methodology

For this analysis, the annual assessed value (AV) growth rates for the example property owner’s property were set to the same values as the Total District Levy AV Growth Rates. The effect of this assumption is that the obligated proportion of the levy for the example property remains constant for each year in the analysis. The Total District Levy AVs were calculated from the levy amounts and levy estimates obtained from the sample ballots.

The spreadsheet data and chart for the West Valley SD (Spokane) are shown below.

Methodology


Sources

Levy amounts and levy rates were obtained from current election and previous election sample ballots from each respective county elections department. 10 counties had all their sample ballots readily available on their websites. For the 7 counties that did not have either their current or past sample ballots online, a request was submitted to obtain electronic copies.

School districts’ levy fact sheets and levy flyers posted on their official websites were reviewed for incongruent words and phrases.