Voters decide on school bonds and levies

Spokane area voters decided on several bonds and levies for area school districts in Tuesday’s special election.

Five school districts in Spokane County have bonds on the ballot and 13 have levies. As far as the levy dollars go, Greater Spokane Inc. estimates 20 percent of these school districts budgets rely on these levies. The levies benefit things like, STEM programs, extracurricular activities and student transportation.

The school bonds will go to things like added security improvements, building renovations and, in several schools, build new schools.

Central Valley

One district everyone had their eyes on was Central Valley School District. As the numbers came in, Superintendent Ben Small, picked up his wife and swung her around! The district needed the supermajority to pass the bond and once Small announced the number, 64 percent, the room erupted.

With the passing of the $121.9 million construction bond, the district will be able to add security improvements to each school, renovate a handful of schools, and build a new elementary school. It will address some of this biggest issues schools in the district are facing when it comes to overpopulation, security and the overall learning environment. Campaign Chair, Marty Dickinson, said it was a true community effort.

“I think what we did tonight by being able to pass this levy and this bond for the first time, for the bond in 16 years, is we have shown that we are about our kids, we are about this community, and we are about the future of what we want this place to be,” Dickinson said.

A big part of their campaign strategy was making sure voters knew that this bond will not increase taxes. Campaign organizers said even when the opposition campaign started, it only seemed to fired up

supporters of the proposition.

Spokane Schools

Spokane Public Schools $145 million bond was approved. The district said the bond will be used to modernizes or replaces the district’s oldest and least efficient buildings, improves safety and security, upgrade technology, and allow for improvement projects at all schools. As for the renewal levy, it passed. The district said the levy helps provide 22.7 percent of Spokane Public Schools’ operating budget.

West Valley School District

West Valley School District had two levies on that ballot. The renewal levy passed. The technology capital projects levy passed.

Mead School District

Mead School District $69.5 million bond was approved. The money will renovate and improve several schools throughout the district. The renewal levy passed.

Cheney School District

Cheney School District proposed $44 million bond that was rejected. The district said the bond would make improvements to Cheney High School and Three Spring High School. The renewal levy passed.

Moses Lake School District

Moses Lake School District rejected a $98 million bond to build a new high school and make renovations to Moses Lake High School, and add security updates and improvements. They too had a renewal levy on the ballot that passed.