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School levies approved by voters

Voters gave a lopsided thumbs-up to two levies for the South Whidbey schools on Tuesday, approving both a capital projects technology measure and a maintenance and operation levy to help supplement state funding.

Both are two year levies to be paid out in 2007 and 2008.

The capital levy will raise $550,000 both years for repairs, renovations and technology-related costs; the maintenance and operation levy will average $3.5 million per year.

The levies passed with more than a 70 percent margin.

Out of 4,009 votes cast, 2,835 — or 70.7 percent — approved the measures, and 1,171 — or 29.23 percent — voted against it. School levies require a 60 percent majority for approval under state law.

Levy organizers and board members celebrated the results of this year’s election as another positive step for the district.

“I think it’s wonderful. The community demonstrated their generosity and their support for South Whidbey schools,” said Rich Parker, president of the South Whidbey Board of Education.

“Hiring a new superintendent and passage of these levies are a major step forward for the district,” he added. “I am optimistic about the future. The technology levy is really important to bringing teaching and learning up to the next level.”

Of the $550,000 raised each year for two years, $425,000 will go to technology improvements and critical staff training; $125,000 will go toward repairing and renovation of facilities.

Voters on South Whidbey have long shown their support for schools, approving the last five levies, including the two approved on Tuesday, by more than 70 percent.

Dean Hatt has served as co-chair of those campaigns.

“We’re glad to see the community support for South Whidbey schools in a strong way,” Hatt said.

“This will speak volumes to the new superintendent,” Hatt said.

The school board is expected to hire a new superintendent on March 1.

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