Bethel voters have a date with levies

12:28 am November 7th, 2013

As voters in the Bethel School District were wrapping up their choices this week for School Board, they could look ahead to another decision in about three months on levies to pay for student instruction and maintenance of school buildings.
The levies are scheduled for the February special-election ballot. Both call for annual tax collections over a four-year period beginning in 2015.
The school programs and operations levy, which if approved would replace a current levy that expires next year, would collect $40.1 million in 2015 and increase gradually each year, ending at $45.7 million in 2018. It would cover a variety of classroom and related purposes, including all-day kindergarten, sports and building maintenance.
For the technology levy, the proposal is to collect $4.5 million each of the four years for computer-based teaching.
Board members Warren Smith and Stan Chapin, who were running unopposed in the general election that ended Tuesday, and Michael Audas, XXXX and XXXX unanimously supported sending both measures to the voters.
District officials emphasize that the programs and operations levy wouldn’t be a new tax. It would replace the current P&O levy and continue local funding for:
* New curriculum in math, science and language arts.
• Groundskeeping, maintenance, custodial services and utilities at schools.
• School campus security, including programs and personnel.
• Transportation, including student activity buses.
• Extracurricular activities such as music, drama and sports.
• School librarians, counselors and school nurses.
• All-day kindergarten and other newer programs such as elementary school Spanish immersion and a K-8 school of the arts.

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