Approve both Columbia School District levies

Regrettably, most school districts depend on levies to bridge the gap between what the state pays to educate their youngsters and what it actually costs.

In fact, many of the state's school districts have taken the state to court on that very issue. But that is a topic for a different day.

Columbia School District is asking its voters to approve two levies on the same ballot this year. One is for maintenance and operation. The other is for technology.

If they both pass, residents won't be hearing from the committee for another four years, thus saving the district the cost of running more frequent elections.

Burbank's proposed levies actually will cost a little less than the ones that are expiring.

The new maintenance and technology levy is $3.69 per year for $1,000 of assessed value -- a few pennies lower than the current levy that ends this year.

The technology levy is 52 cents per year for $1,000 of assessed value -- one penny lower than the current levy.

An added bonus to taxpayers is that remodeling bonds from years gone by are starting to fall off. So the tax bill will keep going down over the next four years.

The money managers of the district have done a good job of cutting their expenses.

Two quick examples: They started sending their kindergartners to school for four full days instead of five half-days. This move increased learning time in the classroom and cut costs by not making an extra bus run midday.

They also outsourced their lunch program, making it self-sufficient instead of having to supplement it.

Columbia School District has a strong history of passing bonds and working together as a community.

We recommend they continue that tradition and pass both the technology levy and the maintenance and operations levy.

The Herald editorial board recommends voters support both Columbia School District levies.