Frequently Asked Questions

What will this bond proposal do?
• Make all school buildings safer by adding secure entry ways, electronic locks on outside doors, networked security cameras, and improved classroom door locks.
• Replace Post Middle School with a new building located on the same site.
• Improve instruction by adding classroom amplification systems in every elementary classroom.
• Extend the useful life of Arlington High School by adding 8 classrooms and a Technology and Arts workshop.
• Protect Eagle Creek Elementary from fire by adding a fire sprinkler system (Eagle Creek is the only school building in the district that does not have fire sprinklers).
• Extend the useful life of Eagle Creek Elementary and Kent Prairie Elementary schools through new carpet and floor coverings (both schools have flooring from 30+years ago when building was constructed).
• Extend the useful life and efficiency of Kent Prairie, Weston High School, and Haller Middle School by modernizing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.
• Make Transportation Center safer for employees and vehicles by providing a uniform asphalt surface and lot lighting, and a bus wash facility for vehicle maintenance.
• Create safer, all weather athletic surfaces at Haller Middle School track and Arlington High School baseball and fastpitch fields.
• Make the district eligible for $8.9 million in state matching funds. The district plans to partially use matching fund to purchase a site for future elementary school. State matching funds can only be used for construction or modernization of school buildings or school sites.

How do classroom amplification systems help students?

Classroom amplification systems are a technology proven to significantly improve student listening and learning behaviors and skills. A teacher’s voice is a uniform volume regardless of their position in the classroom so all students hear the teacher’s voice more completely. Students who learn in a room equipped with amplification systems have a documented advantage in listening and learning behaviors and academic skills compared to students who learn in rooms not equipped with this technology. Reference: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED463640

Didn’t Arlington Public Schools just ask us to vote on a levy?

Yes, but this is not a levy, this is a bond. Arlington Public School voters approved an educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy in February 2016. EP&O levies pay for day to day operations of the school district (like utilities, classroom supplies, and staff not funded by the state). Bonds can only be used for construction or renovation of buildings. They cannot be used to pay the day to day expenses of a school district.

What’s the difference between bonds and levies?

A quick way to remember the difference between bonds and levies: Bonds are for Buildings and Levies are for Learning. Bonds can only be used to pay for the costs of building new or modernizing school buildings and support buildings. Levies are used to pay the costs of day to day operations. Here’s a brief video produced by our partners at Educational Service District 189 that explains the difference between bonds and levies.

Will seniors, disabled persons, and disabled veterans be affected by this bond proposal?
Taxes would be levied through local school property taxes to repay the bonds. Seniors over the age of 61, disabled persons, and disabled veterans and who have household incomes less than $40,000 per year may qualify for an exemption from local school property taxes. Contact the Snohomish County Assessor at 425-388-3433 for assistance.

How will this affect my property taxes?
The school district estimates that voter approval of this bond proposal would not increase property tax rates; since the new bond would replace the current bond, property tax rates would actually go down in 2019.

Didn’t the state fully fund public schools as a result of the McCleary decision?
The McCleary decision still lays responsibility for school buildings up to local communities. The State Supreme Court has determined that Washington has made progress toward fully funding schools, but that decision does not obligate Washington to building or modernizing schools. The State Legislature did institute an increase in state school property taxes that will result in a one year increase in total property tax rates for 2018. This increase will occur regardless of approval of this bond proposal.

Why does the district want to build a new Post Middle School instead of modernizing the current building?
Extending the life of the building another 20 years requires the entire building be brought up to code. That would require the following work:

• Seismic design requirements: improve seismic connections between the roof and walls, and replace the roof.
• Ventilation and indoor air quality codes: replace the entire heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.
• Energy codes: replace all exterior doors and windows, fur out the exterior walls to add insulation, replace all the lighting with more energy efficient lighting.
• Acoustic codes: add drywall to all the walls that separate individual classrooms.
• Americans with Disabilities Act compliance: renovate interior spaces like door clearances and bathrooms to make rooms accessible.
• Electrical and plumbing systems are 36 years old and need to be replaced.
This work would cost 75-80% of the cost of new construction. Meeting code requirements does not address any of the educational deficiencies in the current building. New construction addresses these deficiencies, which are:
• The number and size of science rooms;
• Eliminating outdoor circulation so students are safer in the building during the day;
• Ensuring adequate indoor air quality and lighting.

A full renovation would also impact ongoing school operations. We don’t have anywhere else for the students to go so the school would have to be remodeled with students on site. The arrangement of the school does not lend itself well to piecemeal remodel (you can’t replace an HVAC system one room at a time). We would have to vacate large chunks of the building and move students to portables while the building is being remodeled. Setting up those portables adds cost to the project that does not end up in the final product. do not set up enough portables for all of the students at once we would do the project in phases, which would extend the schedule and add costs.