NKSD bond fails to pass; 64% vote against

Results from the Feb. 13 special election show North Kitsap School District’s estimated $242 million, 20-year bond proposal failed to pass with nearly 64% (10,313) voting against the measure. It required 60% approval to pass.

Voter turnout is nearly 43% (16,249 out of 38,074 registered voters).

“Thank you for taking the time to learn about our district and what the bond would have meant for our students and schools,” a statement from NKSD reads. “As you may know, the state does not provide funding for the construction, rebuilding or modernization of our schools.

“The failure of the capital bond means that we will have to restart the facilities planning process. We will work closely with our community, the facilities committee and school board to come up with a plan to address our aging facilities. Thank you to our staff, facilities committee members, school board, and the Yes for NKSD kids citizens committee for your work over the past year.”

If passed, the bond would have rebuilt Wolfle Elementary; rebuilt Pearson Elementary at a new location; included additions at Gordon and Poulsbo elementaries, along with Poulsbo Middle School (phase 2); upgraded Kingston Middle School; improved North Kitsap and Kingston high schools’ baseball/softball fields and athletic facilities; and make district-wide safety improvements and critical repairs. Since Suquamish Elementary was not included in the bond proposal, the Suquamish Tribe did not endorse it.

The 2024 total tax rate for NK property owners is $2.39 per $1,000 of assessed value. If the bond passed, in 2025 the tax rate would have been $2.49 per $1,000 of assessed value. The tax breakdown for each $1,000 of valuation would have been $1.31 for the EPO levy, 34 cents for the estimated capital levy and 84 cents for the estimated bond rate.

In 2022, voters passed levies for education programs/operations and capital projects. The EPO levy is funding an additional building to PMS and slated gym improvements at Suquamish Elementary, among other projects.

The last time NKSD put a bond on the ballot was in 2001 when voters approved a $60 million resolution to help fund the construction of KHS and other district improvements. That bond has been paid off.

The bond vote comes less than a week after superintendent Laurynn Evans was placed on administrative leave by the school board pending the outcome of the investigation involving her being named a suspect in a case involving the theft and disposal of campaign signs against the bond measure.