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Coupeville school levy passes

As was pretty much expected, voters in Coupeville gave their highly-touted school district the big nod yesterday, passing another four-year maintenance and operations levy with 72.5 percent approval.

The tally currently stands at 1,818 “yes” to 614 “no” votes, though 1,124 mail ballots are left to be counted. The final results will be posted Friday.

“We’re real pleased that we’ll be able to count on four more years of funding,” School Board President Mitchell Howard said Tuesday night. “It feels like a vote of confidence and also a spur to continuous improvement.”

The newly-approved funding, which Howard characterized as a “steady-as-she-goes kind of levy,” essentially replaces the 1998 levy that expires at the end of this year. The increase is slight. With an average annual tax rate of $1.45 per $1,000 of assessed property value, the new levy represents a 10-cent-per increase over it successor.

The new levy will provide approximately 17 percent of the district’s total operating budget. Many teachers and administrators feel that it is this extra funding that has helped Coupeville schools gain a reputation for educational excellence.

Among the things funded by the maintenance and operations levy are student transportation, co-curricular programs, support for special needs students and professional training for staff.

In South Whidbey, voters apparently supported a school levy and a separate park and recreation levy Tuesday.

The South Whidbey School District’s $6 million maintenance and operation levy received 1,459 votes of support and 796 votes in opposition. The South Whidbey Park and Rec’s two-year maintenance and operation levy garnered 1,434 “yes” and 811 “no” votes.

Yet 3,322 mail ballots from South Whidbey residents remain to be counted.

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