School levy passes by wide margin

Island voters approved the Vashon Island School District’s levy on the Feb. 13, with 67 percent voting for the measure and 33 percent voting against it.

The Educational Pro-grams and Operations Levy makes up about 20 percent of the school district’s budget, currently $4.3 million out of approximately $22 million. It funds what its name indicates, including teachers’ salaries, special education and instructional programs.

After the results, Vashon Island School Board Chair Zabette Macomber, said she and fellow board members are grateful to those who voted “yes.”

“We are happy with the confidence the voters have in the school district,” she said. “Not only do we need this money desperately, but will use it responsibly.

The levy is not a new tax on islanders, but a replacement for the four-year maintenance and operations levy, which will expire in December.

The levy allows the district to collect up to nearly $4.6 million in 2019, $4.8 million in 2020, $5 million in 2021 and $5.3 million in 2022.

While the estimated rate to bring in those funds is $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed value, the actual rates over the life of the levy will be determined by local property values.

Out of Vashon’s 8,695 registered voters, 4,058 votes were counted, not including write-ins, giving Vashon about a 47 percent participation rate in this election.

— Susan Riemer