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Carbonado voters pass M and O levy

Carbonado residents supported their small school district Feb. 19, again passing a four-year, maintenance and operation levy.

Numbers posted the following morning by the Pierce County Elections Department showed 99 “yes” votes and 44 “no” votes.

Throughout the colorful history of the Carbonado Historical School District - and that's more than 130 years - voters have never failed to support an M and O levy.

District Superintendent Scott Hubbard figures the level of support will climb, as some votes had not been counted by the morning of Feb. 20. The county's Web site showed 186 ballots had been received, but only 143 counted.

Hubbard emphasized the M and O levy is “extremely important,” particularly to a small district trying to maintain its traditional level of service. The local support is needed, he said, “as state and federal funding gets tighter and tighter.”

In a published statement in support of the levy, boosters said Carbonado's M and O “allows our district to fund additional teachers and classified employees to keep our class sizes low.” In addition, it was noted M and O money is sued for books and other instructional materials, computer equipment, field trips, music programs, sports and transportation.

Currently, district property owners are paying slightly more than $4 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Under the terms of the Feb. 19 levy, collection rates will be $4.53 in 2009, $4.54 the two years following and $4.55 in 2012.

Hubbard said the district is cautious when projecting levy rates, never wanting to estimate too low. When it comes time to collect the money, he said, the rates will likely be less than advertised.

The district currently enrolls 180 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Following their years in Carbonado, students attend White River High School.

The district has 11 teachers - one for each grade level, plus a physical education teacher and another for the district's special-needs students.

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