Tuesday is Election Day for two Clark County school districts — Battle Ground and Camas — seeking voter approval for replacement levies that expire at the end of 2021.
Voters who live in the Battle Ground district boundaries will consider a $116.5 million Educational Programs and Operations replacement levy — the district’s sole levy — to run through 2025 to continue funding for staffing, technology, special education, transportation and a host of other programs.
Camas has two replacement levies: a $53 million Educational Programs and Operations levy and an $11.5 million Technology, Health and Safety Capital levy. They would run through 2024 and would maintain programs, staffing, technology and upgrade essential systems in facilities.
As of Monday, 30.47 percent of the 79,975 eligible voters had turned in ballots, according to the Clark County Elections Office. The last special election in 2017 that followed a presidential election resulted in 35.8 percent voter turnout.
In the COVID era, the model for getting the word out on replacement levies has looked different, but the urgency remains the same.
For Amy Price and Jill Rivers, co-treasurers of Battle Ground Citizens for Better Schools and parents of Battle Ground Public Schools students, the pandemic sparked a creativity challenge that went further than a typical grassroots campaign.
Their efforts included the partnering with local businesses, boosting a stronger social media marketing campaign and developing videos by students to show why levy dollars are important for their education.
“Our children have a voice, and they really need to be heard,” Price said Monday. “They need to be seen.”
Levies need a simple majority of more than 50 percent to pass. Battle Ground voted to pass a maintenance and operations levy in 2017 — 53.6 percent — but a 2018 bond measure failed twice. Camas voters approved its last operations levy in 2017 by 68 percent.
Mail-in ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday or can be dropped off at area ballot boxes before 8 p.m. Tuesday.