South Whidbey School District Bond Measure (November 2010)

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A South Whidbey School District Bond Measure was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the South Whidbey school district which is in Island County.

Election results

This measure was defeated

  • YES 2,575 (42.01%)
  • NO 3,555 (57.99%)Defeatedd[1]

Background

This measure sought to create a bond in the amount of near $20 million in order to move Langley middle school students to the high school campus. The board voted last year to close the middle school and thus this money would help with the consolidation efforts by the district. The money would have been used to repair high school buildings as needed and to ensure there is enough space and resources available for all the students that will be put there. The schools have faced opposition to the consolidation effort ever since the decision was made to close the school.[2]

The school board had estimated that it would have cost $25 million to consolidate the schools, but the amount of the bond had been still undecided at voting time. The bond would have cost taxpayers as much as previous bonds have because property values have gone up. Renovations to the high school were expected to cost the most amount of money for the district.[3] Though many residents were already against putting the community further in to debt, regardless the school district held meetings and were hoping residents would be open to the issue. On average, a homeowner in the district would have paid $157.50 a year towards this bond. School officials were able reduce the size of the bond, the amount did not need to be official until August 10, others noted that reducing the cost could lead to a better chance of it passing.[4]

Supporting Campaign

The Board of Directors of South Whidbey School District No. 206 adopted Resolution No. 565 concerning a proposition to finance expansion, renovation and improvement of schools. This proposition would authorize the District to expand and renovate South Whidbey High School to accommodate students from Langley Middle School and make health, safety, educational and infrastructure improvements at South Whidbey High School, Elementary School and Primary Campus, Bayview School and Langley Middle School; issue no more than $25,000,000 of general obligation bonds maturing within 20 years; and levy annual excess property taxes to repay the bonds, all as provided in Resolution No. 565.[5]

Opposition

This was the first notable bond in the district which had an organized opposition to it in a long time, school officials noted. Critics of this measure noted that the school has left too many unanswered questions and wondered if there would even be enough money to support the consolidation effort. They also noted that it would be like giving the schools a blank check, residents would be left to wonder what their money is really going towards.[6]

Additional reading

References