This is a proposed three-year property tax levy. Voters in the Mead School District are being asked to approve an excess levy of $4.59 per $1,000 of assessed property value, which would raise an estimated $62 million annually for maintenance and operations beginning in 2013 to supplement the district’s state funding. The school district’s current levy of $3.59 per $1,000 of assessed property value is expiring. If approved by voters, the owner of a $150,000 home, for example would pay $688.50 per year. A copy of the Mead School Board’s resolution authorizing the levy request can be found here. Information about the levy compiled by the Mead School District can be found here.
Jurisdiction: Mead School District
Central Valley School District employees waved brightly lettered signs reading “Thank you” at passing motorists in Spokane Valley on Thursday to show appreciation to voters who helped pass the levy. “We take the extra effort to stand out on the corner to get people to vote, and I just thought it was important to take the extra effort and stand out there and say thank you,” said Central Valley High School Principal Mike Hittle, who came up with the idea.
Bored with his West Valley High School classes, Harrison Calligan thought skipping school with friends might be more challenging. The teen figured out how to block the school’s numbers from his home phone so his mother couldn’t be alerted to his absence, and after lunch he’d leave school.
Eighth-grader Seairra Rice comes from a family of wrestlers, but she’s the first girl in her family to participate in the sport. “She wanted to show the boys she could do what they could do,” said her dad, Chris Rice, who watched his daughter during a recent wrestling practice at Spokane’s Chase Middle School. “She took a lot of flak from the girls at first for doing it, but she pushed through.”
Britain Webb has been homeless twice while attending University High School. Domestic violence forced the 17-year-old’s mother and siblings out of their Spokane Valley apartment the first time, Webb said. The second time, their house burned down. Through all his turmoil, school has been a constant. “Going to school is a very big part of life in general,” Webb said. “That’s how you get through it. … Being at school was pretty much the highlight of my day.”
School buses could become scarce in parts of Washington as the state grapples with budget shortfalls. Among the list of cuts Gov. Chris Gregoire is considering: State funds to help transport students to and from school could be eliminated. Although not one of Gregoire’s preferred cuts, it would save $220 million and is on her list of ideas to deal with a $2 billion budget shortfall.
Nutrition directors in Spokane Public Schools, Mead and Coeur d’Alene school districts have worked hard in recent years to make breakfast and lunch options better for students. Pizza, for example, is one of the most popular choices for elementary school lunches; to make it healthier nutritionists use whole wheat or whole-grain crust and low-fat mozzarella. That’s why school nutritionists here feel like they’re prepared for new National School Lunch Program guidelines that go into effect early next year. The program will closely follow new federal nutrition guidelines, which suggest people eat more fruits and vegetables, eat 50 percent more whole grains and switch to fat-free or 1 percent milk.
The percentage of students taking remedial math classes at Spokane Community College and Spokane Falls Community College is an eye-popping statistic. Of the 2009-’10 graduates from Spokane Public Schools who were admitted to the community colleges, 86.8 percent required remedial math after taking placement tests. For Central Valley School District students it was 92.4 percent, and for Mead School District students, 81.1 percent.
Mead School District officials decided shifting its 12 librarians out of the library and into a traditional classroom was the best way to help solve its $1 million budget deficit. The district will save $660,000 by moving the librarians, who all have teaching endorsements, because they won’t have to hire new teachers.
Mead School District is facing a $1 million budget gap, and one answer is putting its librarians’ teaching credentials back to work. The shift of 12 librarians into the classroom saves $660,000, said Wayne Leonard, executive director of business management. “If we didn’t move them into the classroom, we would have to hire new people.”
The Mead School District has agreed to pay $205,000 to settle a federal lawsuit on behalf of a former student with autism who was repeatedly abused nearly five years ago by two other special education students at Mead High School. The parents of a boy, identified in court documents only as J.B., argued that the school district was negligent. The boy, now 21 and in college, has Asperger’s disorder, a mild form of autism that affects his ability to socialize and communicate.