As the old song says, little things mean a lot.
One of the little things on Tuesday’s ballot in Washington state is House Joint Resolution 4208.
This ballot item would do one little thing: Allow public school districts to vote on maintenance and operation levies every four years rather than every two.
This is a good idea for three reasons.
First, it would save money for schools. School districts spend thousands of dollars putting together levy elections every two years. At Mead School District 354 north of Spokane, for example, Assistant Superintendent for Finance Al Swanson notes each levy election costs the district about $15,000.
If the district voted every four years rather than every two, $15,000 could be saved for other projects.
Second, this change would bring some certainty to school district budgeting. Maintenance and operation levies supply up to 24 percent of a school’s overall budget. The money most often is used to fund activities like sports, music and arts.
A four-year levy can help ensure these programs will be funded on a consistent basis.
Finally, a four-year M&O; levy vote would compel those critical of schools to look for more appropriate avenues to express their ideas. Using the hammer of a “no” vote on a levy designed to support necessary, routine school activities isn’t the best way to air a grievance if you have one.
For these reasons, vote “yes” on HJR 4208.
, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Chris Peck/For the editorial board