Tuesday is the last day for voters within the Selah, East Valley and Granger school district boundaries to weigh in on local school operation levies.
The three school districts have placed education programs and operations levies on the Feb. 9 special election ballot.
Voters have until 8 p.m. to register to vote and submit their ballots in red county drop boxes or by U.S. mail. Ballots sent by mail need to be postmarked by Tuesday.
As of Monday, 28% of ballots have been returned, according to the Yakima County Auditor’s Office.
These levies were formerly referred to as maintenance and operations levies. They’re used to fund programs beyond basic education, such as athletics, art and music, technology instruction and special education.
Each local measure proposes the renewal of a levy expiring at the end of the year. The new rates would take effect in 2022, if passed. Each measure requires a simple majority to pass, or 50% plus one.
In the Selah School District, voters are deciding whether to approve a nearly $7.7 million two-year levy that would replace an expiring enrichment levy and be matched with a similar amount of state funds, together accounting for 12% of the district budget each year, according to the district.
Likewise, East Valley voters are weighing in on a $13.4 million three-year levy, to be matched by about $2 million in state funds, while Granger voters are deciding on a three-year levy at $2,285,000, to be matched with about $1.6 million in state funds.
Each district said essential enrichment programs would be cut or reduced without the fund renewal.
While voters approve the levy amount, rather than the rate that it breaks down to based on assessed property in the area, all three local districts suggested that the levy rate was expected to remain similar to the existing rate. This is something that cannot be guaranteed until rates are certified with the county assessor’s office at the start of each year.
Results will be certified Feb. 19.