Edmonds School District leaders plan for another school bond

It won’t be in April, but the district could float another bond proposal in August or November.

EDMONDS — The Edmonds School District may ask voters again this year to approve a hefty bond measure to address aging schools.

During the February special election, the district asked voters to approve $696 million in bonds and levies. The four-year $96 million capital and technology levy passed with majority support, but the $600 million bond to replace some old schools and build new ones failed. It received 56% approval, falling short of the 60% required for bond measures.

Voters won’t see a new bond on the April ballot because it wouldn’t “provide enough time to discuss the capital project needs of the district with our community,” district spokeswoman Harmony Weinberg said in an email. The school board is focusing on a bond in either August or November, but members haven’t decided on a dollar amount, she said.

“We are thrilled over 58 percent of voters want us to continue the great work with our technology program,” Superintendent Kristine McDuffy said in a news release. “While the bond did not pass, the school board and I are working diligently on a plan to reach out to the community and see how we can move forward to address the $1.7 billion capital needs.”

The levy’s passage means the district can continue to loan Chromebooks to students, update classroom technology and install safety and security upgrades at every school in the district.

In the Edmonds School District, the county’s largest, more than half of the facilities are more than 50 years old.

The bond would have paid to replace College Place Middle School, Oak Heights Elementary and Beverly Elementary. The money also would’ve gone toward building a new middle school, elementary and an alternative learning center.

Across the county, the Arlington, Mukilteo and Snohomish school districts also put capital bonds in front of voters. Mukilteo voters were the only ones to approve a bond. Overall, county voters passed five of the 13 ballot items from school districts.

Turnout in the Edmonds School District was 31%.

Joey Thompson: 425-339-3449; jthompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @byjoeythompson.

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