From a May 5, 2020, Everett Public Schools News Release.
Board approves unchanged bond proposition for STEM, safety, equity and space
Now, more than ever, schools are the heart of our community. Investing in our schools continues our focus on not only academics, but the well-being of every student in our district. Schools are a community resource and they need to be invested in.
Due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 24th the school board approved Resolution 1228 postponing the April 28th bond proposition until a future time to be determined by the board.
On May 5th, the school board approved Resolution 1230 to place the unchanged $317.4 million bond proposition on the August 4th special election ballot for Building the Future.
School Board President Caroline Mason said, "These past few months have increased my awareness of the important role schools play in our community. Our teachers and staff have done a tremendous job in supporting our families in this unprecedented time of need. The board recognizes this bond will help continue these efforts and further support the safety of our students. We need to make needed investments in our schools so we can continue to serve our families and community."
The current tax rate for Everett Public Schools is $4.88 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. If approved on August 4th, the new rate would decrease to $4.78 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This means, the tax rate paid by property owners will not rise, as the district will be paying off older debt.
The district understands the impacts the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the economy, and there are many community members who have been financially impacted. We would like to reiterate the proposed deliverables offered in this bond can be implemented while lowering the overall tax rate.
The bond proposal was based on a recommendation from the district's Capital Bond Planning Committee (CBPC).
The CBPC was established in November 2018 and made up of mostly community members.
The committee met six times from November 2018 to June 2019, and recommended the following projects be included in the bond:
- Add 36 new elementary classrooms at eight schools.
- Replace three aging elementary schools in lieu of modernizing.
- Modernize and upgrade five buildings at Everett HS and Cascade HS and six classrooms at Jackson HS.
- Provide upgrades and equipment to support STEM and career connected pathway programs at high schools.
- Improve safety and security district-wide.
- Upgrade HVAC, roofing and flooring systems.
- Improve school sites.
Darcy Walker, director of facilities and planning, who worked closely with the committee said, “The committee took their job very seriously and worked hard to create the best recommendation for the district. They had mounds of data and options to consider.”
The committee felt it was specifically important to have something for everyone on this bond, so the projects are evenly spread throughout the district at all grade levels.
"Capital bonds are important because they are really the only way public school districts can fund major construction projects in our state. It is the only way our district can get the money needed to upgrade our older buildings, replace roofing and flooring, upgrade our heating and cooling systems, and build permanent space for the growth we are experiencing,” stated Mike Gunn, executive director, facilities and operations.
The 2020 bond focuses on STEM, Safety, Equity and Space and helps prepare our students for the future.
“Anytime you have student success and student achievement, that makes your community better, it brings pride to your community, economic value to our community. We want our students to not only graduate here, but to come back here and be great citizens,” said Superintendent Dr. Ian Saltzman.
To find out more details on all of the bond 2020 projects and costs, visit www.everettsd.org/bond2020.