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2024 Bond » Understanding Bonds

Understanding Bonds

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Funding for education in the Washington State is complicated and can lead to questions about how schools receive the money needed to operate. The state is required to supply school districts with state funding for “basic education” which is based on what is referred to as a “prototypical model” representing the State Legislature’s assumptions of what resources are required to provide the program of basic education.

Unfortunately, when the funding provided by the state does not cover the actual costs to operate, construct and maintain a school district, districts often utilize local funding through bonds and levies to bridge the gap. This local funding allows school districts to provide the structures and services communities rely on, which allows students to grow and thrive.

The Difference Between Bonds and Levies

Bonds are for Building

A bond provides funding for capital projects such as purchasing property for schools, constructing new schools, or modernizing existing schools. Bonds are sold to investors who are repaid with interest over time from property tax collections, generally between 10-25 years.

Bonds require a super majority to pass (60%)

Levies are for Learning                                                                                                                                                                                                    A levy is a short-term, local property tax passed by the voters of a school district that generates revenue for the district to fund programs and services that the state does not fund or fully fund as part of “basic education.”

Levies require a simple majority to pass (50% + 1)