Voters approve Bainbridge schools operations levy

For the 32nd time since 1956, voters have approved the Bainbridge Island School District's operations levy.

More than 72 percent of the 7,367 ballots cast approved Tuesday's levy, which needed only a simple majority to pass.

With votes in all of the 22 precincts counted, the unofficial results had 5,369 (72.88 percent) voting yes and 1,998 (27.12) casting negative ballots.

Supt. Faith Chapel said the approval wasn't a surprise, but there was some apprehension since it took two elections to approve last year's $42 million building and maintenance bond measure.

"Again," Chapel said, "we are very grateful to have a community that supports our education program, particularly with such a close election last November. We think voters realized how important this levy is to us with the reduction in state funding."

The state's public schools need to go to voters every four years for a local taxpayer levy that is used strictly for school programs and operations.

Bainbridge has had to reduce its last two budgets by 9 percent and may have to cut another $1.8 million this year, depending on what happens with the state budget.

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