Reminder: Deadline Feb. 11 to vote in Edmonds School District bond and levy election

The projected overall tax impact if both the construction bond and technology levy are passed. (Graphic courtesy of the Edmonds School District)

With ballots mailed out for the Feb. 11 special election, Edmonds School District voters will have to decide whether they want to approve a $600 million construction bond aimed at addressing projected increases in student enrollment.

The bond (Proposition 1) is the first of three proposals likely to come before voters between now and 2023 to address $1.7 billion worth of needs across the district, according to a district facilities and bond committee report. 

If approved, the construction bond would fund:

  • School facility renewals across the district, upgrade and program improvement projects ($57.2 million)
  • Complete Phase 2 of the Spruce Elementary Replacement Project ($42.2 million)
  • A new middle school on the former Alderwood Middle School campus ($130.5 million)
  • Replacement of Oak Heights Elementary School ($61.6 million)
  • Replacement of Beverly Elementary School ($65 million)
  • Build a multi-level Innovative Learning Center that would be a new location for Scriber Lake High School and also house some ancillary programs that have not yet been determined ($47 million)

Additionally, a $96 million replacement technology/capital levy (Proposition 2) will appear on the ballot alongside the construction bond.

If approved, the technology levy would:

  • Provide one-to-one computers in grades 2-12 and two students to one computer in grades K-1, along with online curriculum, other software systems and instructional systems. The levy would also support classroom technology, teacher training and support, and internet access to students who do not have internet at home ($35.6 million)
  • Teacher continuing education and tech support ($6.1 million)
  • Maintain staff computers, software and district administrative support systems. New and more efficient software systems for student information and HR finance ($9.2 million)
  • Provide network infrastructure upgrades and security ($7 million)

District officials have been making their case to the community for receiving the 60% majority vote needed for approval. Superintendent Kris McDuffy briefed the Mountlake Terrace City Council during a presentation at its Jan. 6 business meeting.

However, since receiving their ballots, many voters have expressed concern about the effects such a large bond would have on their property taxes, said district spokesperson Harmony Weinberg. 

How the Edmonds School District compares to other districts in the overall 2019 property tax impact.

According to the Snohomish County Assessor’s Office, Edmonds School District property owners in 2020 will pay $3.71 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Weinberg said the district is committed to not raising tax rates and is projecting rates will decrease to $3.69 per $1,000 of assessed value in 2021.

Though Weinberg said she understands voters’ reservations about the price tag, she stressed that the tax rate will not increase under the proposal.

“Yes, it’s $600 million, which sounds like a very large amount,” she said. “People keep thinking that $3.71 (per thousand) is going to jump and it’s not.”

To learn more about the propositions, visit the bond and levy page on the district’s website.

Those who are not registered to vote can do so on Snohomish County’s voter registration webpage. More information regarding the bond and levy can also be found on the county’s ballot webpage.

–By Cody Sexton

4 Replies to “Reminder: Deadline Feb. 11 to vote in Edmonds School District bond and levy election”

  1. The demographics of Edmonds are changing and young adults with kids and high paying jobs are buying these houses because of the quality of the Edmonds School District and Edmonds’ proximity to a major metropolitan core with significant job growth. A vote yes for our school district measures will not increase the tax per $1000 in value, but a vote yes will help you sell your house when the time comes to downsize.

    Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook… These are the companies injecting high paying jobs into our region and we should do everything we can to ensure Edmonds gets the benefit of this growing sector of the economy, including improving our schools so we do not lose out to the other areas around Seattle. Compared to the rest of the country, we are very fortunate to have two $1 trillion dollar companies head-quartered right here in the Puget Sound core. Let’s do everything we can to ensure Edmonds gets the benefit of these economic behemoths while keeping our views in place. 😉 Vote YES to improve our area’s core infrastructure.

    Ignored

  2. If the homeowners of Edmonds, Lynnwood, Brier, Mountlake, Woodway, and unincorporated Sno. Co. pass this bond and levy it will significantly increase the property tax amount that everyone will pay. This unprecedented request for nearly three quarters of a billion dollars is more than double what any other surrounding school districts are proposing. The Edmonds School District is growing at a rate of only just over half of one percent and the property values are expanding by large amounts as the region expands. The property tax notices from Sno. Co. that will be delivered to every homeowner in mid-Feb. just after the election will increase significantly and will do so every year if this outrageous amount of spending is approved. I urge every homeowner to complete your ballot with a “Reject” box checked today and mail or deliver it. Enough is enough and we have to challenge the Edmonds School District board to present a realistic proposal that meets the critical needs of our students and not drive residents from the homes due to the property tax bill.

    Ignored

  3. New kids in EDS next 7 years. Low estimate 500, high estimate 2500, middle estimate 1500. Most growth in elementary. Number of portables or classrooms to house new kids @ 20 kids/portable: Low=25, high=125, middle=75. More kids at an already overcrowded building. Where do they eat, where do they go to the bathroom, where do they do other things like independent study, team projects?

    Kindergarten kids in these numbers are 1 and 2 years old today and live around here or live in Seattle or else where and will move here. Kids who will go to the new middle school or existing middle school in this plan are in the first and second grade today.

    This is not a question of “build it they will come”, they are already going to come so where do we want them to sit? It is better all around to put them in a building rather than a portable. Think it through folks from all angles and then vote.

    If you vote no then here is what will happen. (not making this up, just look at the history of failed bond issues around the state) ESD will very quickly look at the election results and assess the voting patterns by area, did it fail because of not meeting the 40% turn out needed, or did it fail because of not meeting 60% yes. Then analysis will be done with several what ifs. Chief among them is what project can we push into the future? (6 years from now) By eliminating a neighborhood project, how many yes votes will go away on the next election.

    School bond history around the state will likely suggest, delay a project, lower the bond request, and get enough yes votes to pass. The question will become how many projects will have to be delayed for the bond to pass. If $600m lost, will $550 pass or will $500 pass. Look at the project list and you decide which 1 or 2 project do you want to delay?

    The real final question is “Where do you want the kids to sit, (portable or in a building?) and when do you want them to sit there? (in the next 6 years or later?) There are 1,000,000 kids in the state going to school, 21,000 and growing in Edmonds.

    Ignored

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