Sisters residents should be congratulated for voting again to tax themselves more to invest in schools. The Sisters local option levy passed with 79 percent of voters voting in favor, according to early returns.
Over the next five years, the levy should bring in about $6.8 million. The levy has made up about 9 percent of the district’s budget in past years.
What school district couldn’t use that?
The money goes to add opportunities to the education of Sisters’ children. It has helped keep class sizes down. It has helped keep all-day kindergarten. It has helped add music and arts programs. It goes to continue the Americana Project, in which students build guitars; trips to Middle Sister; and studies of the Deschutes River. Sisters is also able to offer both honors and remedial classes in math, reading and writing.
The levy is 75 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The owner of a home assessed at $172,024 (which is the average assessed value of residential property in the district) would pay $129.02 per year.
It would be hard to draw a direct relationship between the contributions of the levy and the performance of Sisters students, but Sisters schools do well in state testing. Sisters High School also has a high graduation rate of 94 percent. The state average is about 66 percent.
Supporting the levy is also a great advertisement for the Sisters community. Voters have approved the levy in 2000, 2004, 2009 and again this year. Families or businesses thinking about relocating can’t help but be encouraged to hear that Sisters residents are such strong supporters of their schools.