Local News

Northshore sends three measures to voters on next week's ballot

ballot measures by Jeff Switzer, staff reporter
Voters in the Northshore School district are being asked to turn out and cast a ballot in favor of three proposed measures Feb. 6. If all three are approved, the levy rate will stay the same as the 1994 and 1995 rates: $5.98 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, or $897 on a $150,000 home.
   For each of the measures to receive approval, at least 6,321 must vote "yes." Propositions 1 and 3 have no minimum voter turnout except the minimum 6,321 needed for approval. Proposition 2 asks for voter approval of general obligation bonds. Passage requires that at least 10,535 (40 percent of the November 1995 turnout) vote on Feb. 6 and at least 6,321 vote yes.
   Northshore covers parts of both King and Snohomish Counties and polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Proposition 1: the M&O Levy ($40,900,000)
   Two of the propositions on the ballot are two-year levies, one of which is a $40.9 million maintenance and operation (M&O) levy. If approved, the M&O levy would replace the current levy which expires in 1996, and would bridge the gap between what the state allocates for basic education and what Northshore provides.
   The M&O levy pays for textbooks, school supplies, software, teaching materials, library books and equipment; additional classroom and special program teachers, such as elementary music, physical education and reading, support staff, such as librarians, administrators and curriculum specialists; and instructional assistants, secretaries, and school nurses. Facilities maintenance, including janitorial and groundskeeping, food service, and security, also come from the M&O levy.
   This levy also covers extra-curricular, after-school programs such as drama, music, activity and club advisors, and sports and academic teams, and pays for special transportation needs not funded by the state.
   The M&O levy would be collected in 1997 at $2.99 per $1,000 of assessed valuation ($448.50 on a $150,000 home); and in 1998 would drop to $2.65 per $1,000 ($397.50 on a $150,000 home).

Proposition 2: Capital Projects Bond ($49,747,000)
   If approved, this 20-year general obligation bond would be used to upgrade and modernize classrooms to comply with new codes and the Americans with Disabilities Act, renovate older schools, expand existing facilities, and upgrade for technology.
   Woodinville High and Hollywood Hill Elementary roof upgrades, Bothell High, Westhill and Cottage Lake's fields, and Inglemoor and Bothell High Schools classroom and gym additions for growth, in addition to many other similar capital projects throughout the district, would be paid for by these bonds.
   The bonds would also pay for facility upgrades to to accept technology and provide for a wide-area network and network and classroom technology.
   If approved, $2.66 per $1,000 would be collected in 1997 ($399 on a $150,000 home); and $3 per $1,000 would be collected in 1998 ($450 on a $150,000 home).

Proposition 3: Technology Levy ($4.8 million)
   More than half of this two-year levy goes to buying two computers per classroom and providing local, district, and Internet network services.
   Instructional hardware and software comprise 31 percent of the levy, and the remaining 17 percent goes to library technology, and maintaining current telecommunications systems and wiring.
   The school district's rationale for requesting a two-year levy for technology reflects the reality of how fast technology is changing.
   General obligation bonds lock the district into a purchasing plan for 20 years, while the two-year levies match the flexibility of the shifting hardware and software and allow for upgrades.
   If approved, $0.33 per $1,000 would be collected in 1997 and 1998 ($49.50 on a $150,000 home collected in 1997 and again in 1998).