How schools are funded in Washington is complicated with multiple funding sources and limited uses of funds depending on the designated purposes. Money comes from the state, local taxpayers and the federal government.  Use of funds can be limited to capital, technology, building projects, specific programs.

State Funding

State provides funding for basic education to all school districts in the state of Washington with enrollment being the primary drivers using a model that depicts assumed staffing at a typical school. Unfortunately, the model has not kept pace with the challenges and expectations of student support post-pandemic and in 2022.

Bellevue Schools Foundation

The Bellevue Schools Foundation (BSF) funds critical programs, initiatives each and every school and district-wide grants. as well as classroom grants, which every teacher in Bellevue School District can apply for annually. Donations to the BSF secure the resources, programming, and learning opportunities students deserve.

Why BSF?

Grants and Donations

The state allows districts to accept donations and grants to be used to support the needs of the District. Grants are provided by individual or groups for a specific purpose and typically require an application and conditions for the use of the funds. Donations typically do not require an application nor pose conditions on the District.

Specific Categorical State Funding

In addition to the general funding, the state provides funding for specific activities and supports such as transportation, special education services, and literacy supports.  In all these areas, the funding from the state is less than the actual cost for many districts throughout Washington.

Federal Government Funding

Federal government provides funding for specific activities including special education and support of students experiencing poverty. In addition, the federal government can provide one time funding to support specific efforts or time frames such as the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Recovery (ESSER) funds that are to be used to help students recover from the impact of the pandemic both academically and social emotionally.

Local Taxpayers

The state allows districts to ask voters to provide additional funding to local schools via levy elections. These levies expire so elections are held every 4 years or district revenue will be reduced. Bellevue voters passed two levies in February 2022, Education and Operations (E&O) Levy and Capital/Technology (Cap/Tech) Levy.  The E&O levy is used to supplement education services while the Cap/Tech is used for school, student and staff technology and building maintenance. The amount of money that can be collected from local taxpayers in support of schools is limited by state law.

Learn more about the most recent levies approved by voters and/or How Levy Funding Helps BSD Students:

Capital Bonds

Districts can also take on long-term debt to support large building and remodeling projects like the construction of Puesta del Sol and the remodeling of Newport High School. In February 2020, voters approved the district selling up to $675 million in additional long-term debt to remodel and rebuild specific schools. The district will sell these bonds when needed to support specific building projects.

The Bellevue School District acknowledges that we learn, work, live and gather on the Indigenous Land of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the Duwamish and Snoqualmie Tribes. We thank these caretakers of this land, who have lived and continue to live here, since time immemorial.