ROYAL CITY — The Royal School Board passed a resolution to put a $1.37 million educational programs and operations levy on the Feb. 11, 2020 ballot. The resolution was passed during a regular school board meeting on Nov. 25.
“If approved by the voters, levy funds will be used to maintain educational programs in Royal schools not fully funded by the state, including smaller classroom staffing, extra-curricular activities and athletics, counselors and nurses, CTE programs, technology, and much more,” stated a press release from the Royal School District on Tuesday, Nov. 26.
The proposed levy will replace the current levy that is expiring. The current levy was approved by voters in 2018 with a proposed tax rate of $1.75 per $1,000 of assessed value. The replacement levy is proposed to have a tax rate of $1.58 in 2021 and $1.54 in 2022.
The Royal School District is like most districts in Washington and needs to run the levy to continue existing programs.
“Funding for education in our state is complicated,” said Roger Trail, superintendent for the Royal School District. “The reality is that state dollars don’t fully cover the actual cost to operate most schools. We, like many other districts, use levies to help bridge this gap in funding. We’re extremely grateful to our community for their history of supporting our school levies over the years.”
In other business, the construction on Red Rock Elementary School is making progress, although it is still behind the original schedule.
“We should see them wrap things up before Christmas break,” Trail said. “We hope to have things functioning normally when we start school on Jan. 6.”
In the past, Red Rock Elementary School Principal David Andra has expressed concern about having the gymnasium ready for the Christmas program. While the work on the gym is progressing, the gym will not be done in time for the program. To compensate, it will be held in the gymnasium of the intermediate school.
“The gym is really looking nice,” Trail said. “They’re putting in hardwood floors. The varnish has to dry before they install the bleachers.”
The carpet is going in offices and few remaining classrooms.
“One of the last things you do is carpeting,” Trail said. “That portion of the building is progressing well.”
Everything should be back to normal when school starts up again in January, “as long as there isn’t anything else that gets in the way,” Trail said. “Remodel projects have more unforeseen things than building from scratch.”
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.