Voters in the Bellevue School District weighed in on a spate of school levies on Tuesday and came out in support of the measures. With 90 percent of King County ballots counted, all three appear to be on their way to passage, though the vote is still close in two cases.
“Bellevue is a wonderfully diverse community full of promise and potential,” Bellevue School District Superintendent Dr. Ivan Duran said following the first wave of results posted Tuesday night. “Our community’s support for our schools continues to make the Bellevue School District a leading district in the state and a wonderful place for our children to learn and grow together.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 53.4 percent of the 20,473 who voted, or 10,936 people, voted in favor of the Educational & Operations Levy, also called the Enrichment Levy.
The Enrichment Levy will collect $304 million over four years between 2019 and 2022. This money will allow the Bellevue School District to pay for educational programs and services, including special education, the arts, STEM programming, athletics and extra-curricular activities. Property owners would be taxed at an estimated 99 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation each year, compared to the $1.06 rate that is collected under the expiring levy that this one would be replacing.
About 51.6 percent of voters voted in favor of the Capital and Technology Levy.
The Capital and Technology Levy is also a replacement levy and would tax property owners an estimated 54 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2019 and 2020 and 53 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2021 and 2022. The district will collect $37 million in 2019, $40 million in 2020, $42 million in 2021 and $44 million in 2022. The total amount collected over four years would be $163 million. The Capital and Technology Levy pays for building improvements, expansion, renovation, technology infrastructure and laptops for 11,752 middle and high school students.
The School Bus Levy is also passing at 54.55 percent.
The School Busy Levy hasn’t been on the ballot since 1998, and will tax property owners $8 million for one year. In 2018, property owners would be taxed 12 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. The district would collect the funds in 2019. The school bus levy would replace old buses and pay for additional buses to transport students to school.
“While we are cautiously optimistic about the results of the levy vote, we are waiting for certification from the state before determining our specific next steps,” Duran said. “If the three local levies pass, we can continue to provide additional opportunities for all our students to achieve success. More specifically, these levies will allow us to continue funding seventh period classes at our high schools and middle schools, art and music at our elementary schools, technology to enhance learning and prepare our students for the workplace of the future, and facilities and buses that will provide our students with safe and comfortable learning environments.”
The Special Election results will be certified Feb. 23. All of the district’s levies require a simple majority to pass.
Go to bellevuereporter.com for continuing coverage.