Voters asked to renew school local option levy


Last updated 4/25/2023 at 4:31pm

The local option levy (Measure 9-161) is coming on the ballot in this year’s May 16 election.

The local option accounts for 10 percent of Sisters School District’s annual budget and the equivalent of 16 teacher salaries. The local option levy allows special programs and small classroom sizes to stick around in Sisters schools.

The levy has seen ongoing renewal every five years, for 24 years. The local option is a considerable portion of the District budget, contributing to all of the specialty programs Sisters schools are known for.

The local option differs from the bond levy in 2021 that approved the funds to construct the new elementary school. According to the website for the measure, “Local option fuels the operating budget and allows for classroom impact, e.g., smaller class size. The bond fuels the capital budget and can be spent only on capital projects such as buildings or infrastructure.”

The local option allows Sisters to grow and maintain unique programs such as IEE (Interdisciplinary Environmental Expedition), the luthier guitar-building program, and Americana Project.

According to superintendent Curt Scholl, “Even with the 2021 bond and the 2023 local option, Sisters residents pay lower taxes for schools than any other district in Central Oregon.”

The levy will be presented as a yes or no vote for the measure on the ballot for the May 16 election.

Measure 9-161:

Sisters School District seeks to renew its local option levy of 75 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation. Levy provides approximately 10 percent of SSD’s annual operating funds.

Key election dates:

• April 26: Ballots mailed to voters.

• April 28: All Deschutes County drop boxes open (drop box located in front of City Hall, 511 E. Cascade Ave.)

• May 11: Last day for election officials to mail replacement ballots to voters.

• May 16: Election Day

Remember to sign your ballot return envelope.


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