by Kirsten Johnson
The Mukilteo School District narrowly passed its $240 million capital bond last week, clearing the way for a number of security upgrades and addition/modification projects districtwide to begin.
Unofficial results from the Feb. 11 special election as of Feb. 18 show that the measure earned 60.39 percent approval, or 8955 of 14828 votes. Bonds need a 60 percent supermajority to pass.
“We’re beyond pleased with the bond results,” Mukilteo school board President Michael Simmons said. “But we also understand that we must continue to nurture our partnership with our school communities in both Mukilteo and Everett — 60.4 percent is passing but clearly we must continue to work. But the bond is a referendum that the district is heading in the right direction.”
Money generated by the bond will be used to fund major modifications/additions at Challenger, Horizon and Discovery elementary schools; an addition at Mariner High School; and additions/partial replacements at Explorer Middle School and Mukilteo and Serene Lake elementary schools.
Bond money will also be used for projects, including installing integrated classroom door locks and to improve the HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems at several schools. The bond will run from 2021 to 2026 and will increase the state and local tax levy rate for patrons by 9.4 cents per $1,000 of taxable value, amounting to $47 for a $500,000 home.
The Edmonds School District’s $600 million capital bond did not fare as well. The measure earned 56.32 percent in favor, or 18242 of 32,392 votes. The bond would have replaced several aging schools in the district, made safety upgrades, among other things.
However, Edmonds School District’s $96 million capital levy passed by a clear margin. It earned 58.24 percent approval, or 18859 of 32,382 votes. Levies need just a 50 percent simple majority to pass.
The four-year levy will be used to fund technology for student learning, such as one-to-one computers in grades 2-12 and two-to-one computers for grades K-1. It will also be used for capital facilities improvements such as safety, security and emergency preparedness improvements.
“Of course, we’re disappointed we didn’t pass this bond,” Edmonds School District board President Deborah Kilgore said of the results. “But we do feel the community is supporting us, as we can see with our levy passing handily. We’re going to go back to our community and try again.”
Kilgore said the district will likely attempt another bond within the next year. She said that specifics, such as the amount of the next bond, have not been determined but the district will “definitely work with our community to come up with a bond that everyone can get behind.”
Kilgore said district leaders will also likely reach out to community members who did not vote for the bond to “find out what their hesitation was.”
“It’s a terrible disappointment but at the same time, 58 percent is a pretty healthy majority of people who want our schools to be modernized and who are committed to and understand the importance of schools in our community,” Kilgore said. “So, I’m disappointed but I’m really optimistic we can keep having these conversations with our generous and school supporting community.”
The Mukilteo School District bond was the lone Snohomish County bond to pass in the election. Arlington School District’s $71.5 million bond proposal earned 52.58 percent approval, falling short of the 60 percent needed. Snohomish School District achieved just 46.66 percent approval for its $470 million capital bond.
A total of 31.09 percent of eligible voters in the Edmonds School District voted in the election. In Mukilteo, turnout was 28.12 percent. Countywide, overall turnout was 32.82 percent of 312,385 registered voters.
The election will be officially certified on Friday, February 21.
Full results can be found at: https://bit.ly/3bKUATB.