Snohomish School District levies pass

SNOHOMISH — Two school levies were inching toward passing after the Snohomish School District faced a nailbiter last week.
Its request to renew a four-year education levy was a dead tie on the first tally of vote returns. At press time it is passing with 53%.
Levies need 50% plus one vote to pass, and “we really learned the value of that plus-one” when it was tied, Superintendent Kent Kultgen said during last week’s school board meeting.
Its other levy for technology, facilities and security rode above 50% approval threshold throughout the week.
Beyond computer upgrades, this levy will pay for playground improvements and more security camera systems at schools, as well as repairs for school buildings.
With both levy measures passing, the district’s portion for property taxes in 2023 would be $4.40 per $1,000 in assessed value. For a $400,000 homeowner, $4.40 per $1,000 would be $1,760 in local school taxes. Currently, the district is charging $4.47 per $1,000 this year.
As Monroe and other districts saw their supplemental funding levies fail, school board member Josh Seek spoke out during last week’s school board meeting that the situation creates inequity. Fellow board members agreed.
A failure “is catastrophic for students, and shame on the state for putting this county in a 50-50 ‘have’ and ‘have not’ situation, which was not what McCleary was supposed to do,” Seek said. The McCleary state Supreme Court decision mandated the state devote millions more dollars to K-12 school districts.
The state pays for about 80% of a district’s budget; local levies cover the gap for extracurriculars and to add more nurses, counselors and teachers than what the state funds.