Frequently Asked Questions About BTA IV

Levies 2016

Downloadable FAQ

Operations Levy and Buildings, Technology and Academics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy

When Will The Election Be Held?

The special election will go before Seattle voters in February 2016. Because the state uses a vote-by-mail model, ballots will be sent to each registered voter in January 2016. The deadline to return the ballot will be the official election day, Feb. 9, 2016.

How Much Will The Levies Ask For?

Planning is underway to determine priorities and budgets for BTA IV projects, and to determine the amount that we are authorized to request for the operations levy. Seattle School Board members will consider the BTA IV amount based on financial analysis and consideration of needs. The Operations levy amount is based on a state formula.

What Is The BTA IV Levy?

BTA IV (Building Technology Academics/Athletics IV) is a capital levy that will be submitted to Seattle voters in February 2016. The passage of the BTA IV levy would fund many needed small renovations and major maintenance projects in our school buildings, technology and academic support infrastructure.  Seattle Public Schools (SPS) capital levies run for six years, and we have created a schedule that puts either BTA or Building Excellence (BEX) before the voters every three years on an alternating schedule. 

The BTA IV capital levy is a replacement levy for the current BTA levy, BTA III. BTA III was passed in 2010 and expires in 2017. All BTA III projects are being completed on time and at or under the budgeted amount. For details on projects, see BTA III on the home page. 

What Is The Operations Levy?

There will also be an Operations levy on the same ballot with the BTA IV Levy and will be a replacement for the current operations levy that was passed by voters in 2013. The SPS operations levy goes to voters every three years. It represents nearly 25% of the district’s day-to-day operating budget and supports core educational programs that are not fully funded by the state.

How Many Projects Will Be Included In BTA IV?

The BTA IV proposal will include projects that improve facilities and technology, and support academics. The projects benefit schools across the district. The amount of the levy request is still be determined. This will determine how many projects can be funded through BTA IV.

How Does SPS Choose The BTA IV Building Projects To Include On The List?

The School Board set guidelines for developing a levy proposal that emphasize long-term planning and facilities management, as well as alignment to major district initiatives.

We contracted with Meng Strazzara to create a comprehensive analysis of our facilities conditions, which we use as a guide for prioritizing projects. We consider student and staff safety and replace those items that have a remaining useful life of fewer than four years and  also emphasize the protection of our school structures.

We will consider possible projects that enable the District to meet existing and future capacity needs, especially with growing enrollment in mind.

We will align our project list with long term building maintenance plans to address and reduce our building maintenance backlog.

We will consider projects that reduce energy usage and enhance environmental stewardship –particularly projects using new “green” technologies.

We want to ensure the preservation of the value of our school buildings by addressing items that threaten damage, such as roof replacements window repairs and protection from flooding.

We will consider project suggestions from the public and our schools’ staffs as an additional means of identifying projects that meet these priorities.

We will align and select projects that can be efficiently and effectively carried out with an appropriate schedule, recognizing that levy monies are collected over six years and that projects within a given school must be coordinated.

Where Can I Get More Information About Existing Capital Levies Projects?

Information about the past, present and future Buildings, Technology and Academics/Athletics capital levies is available on this BTA website. Please see BTA III, BTA II and BTA I on the home page.

Information about our Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) projects is available on the BEX Web site: please visit

(March 2015)

Return to BTA IV