Everett school levy passing, barely

EVERETT — There may be enough support yet for a $16 million supplemental education levy in the city.

The four-year levy has inched up to a 50.29 percent yes vote, or slightly more than the simple majority needed for it to pass.

A total of 22,909 votes on the levy proposal have been counted. Of those, 11,522 were in favor of the levy.

“The trend upward is definitely a positive sign,” Everett Public Schools spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said.

The county elections department is still counting votes from last Tuesday’s mail-in primary. The next count is expected to come out today. If approved, the levy will add $4 million a year to the Everett School District’s general fund. The money will help the district maintain current school programs, according to Waggoner.

“It gives us a little breathing room to at least maintain where we are,” she said. “There are classroom programs we don’t want to lose.”

A fiscal advisory council comprised of residents and school employees began meeting in December 2009 to give recommendations to the Everett School Board on possible budget cuts. In April, the Everett School Board adopted a proposal to cut $3.7 million from the 2010-2011 budget.

The council will begin meeting again in the fall, Waggoner said. The Everett School District consists of more than 18,000 students in 26 schools.

Four other Snohomish County School Districts also put supplemental education levies on the primary ballot.

A four-year levy that would add between $6.8 million and $8 million a year to the Edmonds School District is passing with 54.14 percent of 16,941 yes votes. A four-year levy in the Northshore School District is also passing with 51.75 percent or 4,720 yes votes.

A four-year levy in the Marysville School District and a two-year levy in the Granite Falls School District are lacking majority support.

In Marysville, 41.81 percent or 5,111 votes have been counted in favor of a levy that would collect $6 million over the next four years. In Granite Falls, 44.65 percent or 1,143 votes are in favor of a levy that would collect $550,000 in 2011 and $585,000 in 2012.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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