South Kitsap’s replacement levy widens lead in Wednesday’s count

Bainbridge Island’s twin levy measures pass comfortably

PORT ORCHARD — A South Kitsap School District replacement educational program and operations levy expanded its narrow approval margin Wednesday evening as additional mail-in election ballots were counted by Kitsap County’s Election Division.

The measure is now leading by a 51.36 percent to 48.64 percent margin, outpacing the 50.53 percent to 49.47 percent approval margin on Election Night.

Out of 19,672 votes counted as of Wednesday, 10,104 ballots were in favor of Proposition 1, with 9,568 opposed to the measure.

Additional votes will be tallied in the next few days, although it’s unlikely the new totals will change the outcome.

The levy measure would replace the current EP&O levy that expires this year with a four-year measure that will maintain the local tax rate not to exceed $2.50 per thousand dollars of assessed home value or will be capped at a maximum amount based on student enrollment, whichever is less.

The EP&O levy comprises about 15 percent of the district’s budget and bridges the gap in the cost of its current programs, according to school district officials.

The levy dollars support school district programs that include music, drama and arts programs; librarians and instructional specialists; special education programs; nurses, counselors, social workers and school psychologists; and athletic programs and extracurricular activities.

Other programs supported by the levy include Advanced Placement, AVID, Project Lead the Way Science, and other specialized programs, according to the district.

Meanwhile, the Bainbridge Island School District’s twin propositions — a renewal enrichment and operations levy and a renewal technology levy — were approved by comfortable margins.

Proposition 1 — the renewal enrichment and operations levy — was approved by a 69.43 percent to 30.57 percent margin. Proposition 2 — the renewal technology levy — was approved by a 73.06 percent to 26.94 percent margin.