Chelan schools promote EP&O, Capital levies

CHELAN – If there is a voter in the Lake Chelan School District (LCSD) who is not well-informed about the importance of two levies up for renewal on the February 2024 election ballot, it will not be due to a lack of effort on the part of the school superintendent Bradley Wilson to educate them.

Wilson hosted an informational meeting on Nov. 8 to discuss the Education Programs and Operations (EP&O) Levy and the Capital Technology Levy that the district relies on for funding.

“Levies are for learning. Bonds are for building,” Wilson reminded his audience. “Contrary to what many believe, the state does not provide all the funding the schools need.”

Both the EP&O and Capital levies have been part of the district’s funding for the past eight years. The Capital Technology levy was added to the mix in 2016. The EP&O or Maintenance and Operations (M&O) levy as it was previously known has been a part of the LCSD and nearly every other school district for much longer.

“The Education Programs and Operations (EP&O) Replacement Levy helps fund educational programs and operations in our school district that are not funded through what we get from the state basic education funds,” said Wilson.

Some the programs the levy funds include:

• School Resource Officer

• School nurses

• Field trips

• College level AP classes

• Library program

• Highly Capable programs

• Student clubs and activities

• Music and arts

The February 2024 4-year levy based on .75 cents per $1,000 of property valuation would collect an estimated $3,989,500 in 2025, $4,196,000 in 2026, $4,390,000 in 2027, and $4,553,000 in 2028.

“The EP&O levy is about 16 percent of our overall revenue budget,” said Wilson.

“The Capital Technology Replacement Levy helps with a variety of technology needs in our district including all of our Chromebook devices so we can have one device for each student.”


“The EP&O levy is about 16 percent of our overall revenue budget,” Wilson said.

Based on an estimated rate of $0.06 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation the capital levy would generate $312,641 in 2025, $333,523 in 2026, $350,200 in 2027, and $367,722 in 2028. The 2020 capital Tech Levy passed at $.10/$1,000 AV. Some of the items these dollars pay for include:

• Chromebook replacements for the six schools’ 1,289 students. Wilson said that requires the district to purchase about 300 Chromebooks annually.

• Additional door security and camera systems.

• CMS/CHS HVAC control systems in need of replacement.

• Teacher work stations and classroom display screens.

Wilson said the district is collecting its lowest rate in recent history despite escalating labor and operational costs and used figures compiled since 2010 to support his statement. Another comparison with 2023 tax rates of other districts in Chelan and Okanogan counties showed Chelan’s the lowest among a dozen others.

Wilson also noted that new construction in the county adds new home values and taxpayers to the rolls and helps keep the levy rates down for everybody else. Between February 2022 and 2023 there was $90 million in new construction in the school district.

Wilson said the district webpage,, will have a link with information about both levies. An informational fact sheet will show up in mailboxes next January in addition to social media, radio, and newspaper sources that will feature levy details.


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