The Kent School District submitted a $495 million bond measure to voters on the April 25 special election ballot. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Kent School District

The Kent School District submitted a $495 million bond measure to voters on the April 25 special election ballot. COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Kent School District

Voters turn down Kent School District bond measure

54.13% no votes to 45.87% yes votes; 60% yes needed for passage

Voters in the Kent School District are soundly defeating Proposition No. 1, a $495 million bond proposal to upgrade schools.

The measure received 54.13% (9,824) no votes and 45.87% (8,324) yes votes, according to results released Tuesday night, April 25 by King County Elections. A total of 18,203 ballots have been counted. Results will be updated each day, but to pass a 60% majority is needed, meaning the measure is way short of the votes necessary for passage.

The district planned to use the funds for security improvements, including upgrades to access control, communication systems, alarm systems, security camera replacements, ADA improvements, reader boards and increased space for counseling services at middle schools.

The district also wanted to use bond proceeds to modernize elementary schools to accommodate pre-K education, and to repair, remodel, and upgrade school and administrative buildings districtwide, including improvements to HVAC, technology, boilers, roofs and interior and exterior paint. In addition, the district planned to upgrade all parking lot lights, improve outdoor facilities at all school sites, including inclusive playgrounds at elementary schools, new field buildings, upgrades to bleachers and synthetic fields at secondary sites.

The Kent School Board will need to decide when to bring the bond proposal back and how much to ask for. The current proposal included no new schools but rather upgrades throughout the district.

When district staff proposed the bond, they had hoped the approval of bonds in the Highline School District and Renton School District in November 2022 would mean a similar outcome for Kent.

When Kent sought a $252 million bond in 2016, it failed in April 2016 by 218 votes (59%) to get the 60% majority. The school board brought back the same measure in November 2016 and it received 67% approval.

The district expects tax rates to decrease in 2023 as property values increase. If voters approved the bond, the district anticipated the total tax rate for all levies (operating, capital/technology and bonds) will decrease approximately $0.29 per $1,000 of assessed value from $3.81 in 2022 to $3.52 in 2023 and 2024, the first year of collection on the bonds.

A rate of $3.52 would cost the owner of a $465,000 house in Kent about $1,636 per year for the district’s bond, capital/technology and operating levies.




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentnews.us.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://kentnews.us/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

t
Kent School District announces employees of the year for 2023-2024

Top teacher, principal, bus driver, coach, paraeducator, custodian and more

t
Medical examiner identifies second victim in fiery Kent car crash

Troy Thorp, 61, died in May 11 single-vehicle crash along South 272nd Street on West Hill

t
Kent man, 52, receives reduced sentence in Seattle fatal shooting

Pleads guilty to lesser charge of manslaughter after video of 2020 shooting indicates self-defense

t
Kent Police use drone, K-9 unit to capture assault suspect

Man had fled after fight with security guard at apartment complex along SE Kent-Kangley Road

Jail bars. File photo
Renton man convicted in 2018 Des Moines homicide

Jurors found 28-year-old Yourhighness Jeramiah Bolar of Renton guilty of two felony charges.

t
One of two victims identified in fiery Kent crash

Kristen Anne Meyers, 53, died in May 11 crash on West Hill, according to medical examiner

t
City-owned ShoWare Center in Kent loses $742,675 in 2023

Losses lower than projected but expenses continue to exceed revenue at 6,200-seat arena

t
Kent firefighters extinguish two fires on the same morning | Photos

Friday, May 17 at apartment leasing office in the Valley and at a vacant East Hill house

Courtesy Photo, City of Kent
City of Kent population drops by 1,051 in 2023 compared to 2022

Decline similar to many cities of 50,000 or more across the nation, according to U.S. Census Bureau

t
Kent Police Blotter: April 25 to May 8

Incidents include burglaries, robberies, shootings

t
Rape charges dismissed against former Kent school bus driver

Prosecutors decide they could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt due to medical tests

t
Feds indict 9 South King County residents on drug trafficking charges

Those accused from Federal Way, Kent, Renton, Enumclaw