Whidbey Schools: Levy 1 ahead, Levy 2 behind

Oak Harbor School District’s all-important Levy one was ahead when votes were counted Tuesday night, but Levy two, which would boost math instruction, was failing.

School district officials were relieved that Levy one appears to be a success. Without it, extensive cuts would be required in the district’s education programs.

The Island County Auditor’s Office counted 8,426 ballots, according to Michele Reagan, deputy auditor. Votes will continue to be counted as ballots trickle in through the mail.

Levy one, the basic maintenance and operation levy, had garnered 50.81 percent of the vote. Fifty percent is needed to pass.

“We want to make sure those numbers come through for levy one,” Lance Gibbon, assistant superintendent said. “Without it, there is a lot we couldn’t have continued to fund. We would’ve been looking at sending out possible notices.”

Levy two was faring worse, with just 44 percent of the vote.

“Levy two, with the amount of votes left, appears unlikely to pass,” school board member Pete Hunt said. “We wanted to split them up to create a clear priority for the voters in these tough economic times. And I think they may have done that tonight and respected the more important of the two.”

If Levy one’s lead holds up, property owners will see their tax rate increase from 51 cents per thousand to 74 cents per thousand.

Included in the current levy are 20 teachers, 12 support staff, two computer technicians and several AP courses.

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