ELECTION: School Bond reaches 58%, but district concedes that it will fail

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King County Elections released the sixth round of results for Tuesday’s general election on Friday afternoon (Nov. 7), and the Highline School District Bond, while breaking the 58% barrier, will likely not reach the 60% majority needed.

And the school district appears to have conceded.

“It appears that the Highline capital improvement bond — now at 58.03 percent approval — will not reach the 60 percent needed for passage,” the school district said on its website. “Though yes votes have been trending upward, it is unlikely the ballots yet to be counted will push the final count above the 60 percent threshold.”

Here are the latest results, as of 3:58 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7:

  • Approved: 12911 58.03%
  • Rejected: 9337 41.97%

Here’s the trend of the returns:

  • 56.68%: 1st returns (Nov. 4)
  • 57.15%: 2nd returns (Nov. 5, 4:34 p.m.)
  • 57.28%: 3rd returns (Nov. 5, 7:40 p.m.)
  • 57.55%: 4th returns (Nov. 6, 4:15 p.m.)
  • 57.68%: 5th returns (Nov. 6, 7:40 p.m.)
  • 58.03%: 5th returns (Nov. 7, 3:58 p.m.)

Here’s more from the district:

School Board President Michael Spear acknowledged that a majority of voters did vote to approve the measure. “We are grateful for the support of the many, many citizens in our community who expressed their support for our schools by voting yes,” said Spear.

With failure of the bond, the district has limited options for meeting the challenges of overcrowding and aging, deteriorating schools.

This fall enrollment is up 400 students over last year, causing crowding in elementary schools. Enrollment is expected to grow by over 2,000 in the next eight to ten years.

Bond failure also means replacement and major repairs to the district’s aging and outdated schools will have to wait.

“We will do our best to serve our students, knowing there are physical and financial limitations to what we can do to improve the learning environment in our oldest buildings,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “We will work with our community to determine a plan for moving forward.”

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15 Responses to “ELECTION: School Bond reaches 58%, but district concedes that it will fail”
  1. Mike Bishoff says:

    With so many outstanding ballots to be counted why is the District conceding?

    • Chris says:

      Maybe it’s statistically improbable that the vote will achieve the 60% as each day of counting goes on.

    • Chris says:

      There is however 10 days of counting left, with election certification by the county canvassing board slated for November 25th. It’ll be interesting to see if it gets real close to the 60% mark.

  2. The answer is simple, decrease your bloated staff, cut the salaries of your overpaid bureaucrats, and use that money on teachers and buildings.

    When I start seeing results rather than waste then I will start voting yes on schools again.

    • Chris says:

      How do you know that the central staff is bloated? Other than hearsay, what factual proof can you provide that what you say (and others) is true?

      Contemporary views on proper span of control within a hierarchical structure stipulate that 5-7 people is the optimum level of supervisor to subordinate level.

      • Chris, for starters all one has to do is go in and see who is working and who is not.

        My favorite quote from a much admired teacher “You try being a white male teacher in this PC system in a school district that produced Mary Kay Letourneau, I’m just trying to make it to retirement.” came just before he had to attend yet another useless senseless meeting that kept him from grading papers and preparing for the next day. The fact is as a bureaucracy grows the job of some is to waste others time through meetings and paperwork in order to justify their job. Just talk to any teacher about all the meetings they have to go too. How often do our kids actually have a full school week? It is ridiculous how many short days there are in the school year and for what, meetings?

        If that doesn’t satisfy you just do a quick internet search. I quickly found edchoice.org and a paper by Benjamin Scafidi, Ph.D. titled Decades of Employment Growth in America’s Public Schools dated February 2013. In the paper it is stated that from 1950 to 2009 K-12 students increased by 96% and total personnel increased by 386% of which teachers increased by 252% and administrators and other staff increased by 702%. In other words non-teaching staff grew more that seven times the increase in students. This corroborates what I have personally seen in the last 50+ years.

        When I started school we had a world-class education system. Now it has become an international joke. Could it be that the number on non-teaching staff is inversely proportional to how well our children are educated?

        Also in his report Scafidi quotes the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Nationally, states could have saved—and could continue to save—more than $24 billion annually if they had increased/decreased the employment of administrators and other non-teaching staff at the same rate as students between FY 1992 and FY 2009. If you look at the interactive chart for the state of Washington that number is $332,350,191.00

      • p willoughby says:


        The recitation of 5 to 7 as a span of control brought back some really old memories.

        Like most rules. one needs to think about the rule to gain clarity.

        Good management of employees really depends upon the job. At Highline where the work force required is profeesional employee intensive, meaning highly trained workers such as teachers, need little supervision. With a high level of executive level salaries, they should need no supervision at all. My gauge for the split in catagory of workers is about 85% teachers with most of them in the classroom. My recollection is Highline is about 56%. You can check it for yourself.

        Highline has strayed from it’s mission, education, and defined it as Four Pillars to education. Not a new theme in any sense. Probably in this case from some studies by UNESCO. Highline has diluted its single mission meaning to educate our children to Four Pillars, one pillar being education and the other three being gibberish. In doing so they have greatly expanded their mission and diminished their ability to succeed with too many paths to follow.

        The confusion of mission leads to hiring lots of people to satisfy confusion.

        Leadership, mostly our citizens need to define education as the goal and to begin peeling off those missions extraneous to our goal and return them the the agencies that are trained for the job and funded by us to do them.

        By the way, the four Pillars I like are: Tradition, honour, dicipline, and excellence.

  3. frank says:

    I would like immigration laws to be followed. What is causing the massive growth in k-12 population in Highline.


    2012 study-

    Washington’s accommodating policy towards illegal aliens has resulted in a fast growing illegal alien population and a rapidly increasing fiscal burden on the state’s taxpayers. With the state budget adding an additional $2.7 billion of debt this year, the need to reduce the costs to the taxpayer from illegal immigration should be obvious to lawmakers.

    This study, examining what illegal immigration costs Washington taxpayers, includes the following findings:
    •The state’s taxpayers bear an annual burden of more than $2.7 billion as a result of an estimated 275,000 illegal aliens plus nearly 104,000 U.S.-born children of illegal aliens of whom about 78,000 are school-aged.
    •The combined K-12 fiscal burden for the children of illegal aliens in regular instruction and supplemental instruction amounts to nearly $1.6 billion annually.
    •Justice and law enforcement costs result in a net outlay of about $176 million. These outlays include policing, court and prison costs.
    •Health care and social assistance programs add additional costs of $652 million.
    •The average Washington household headed by a U.S. citizen bears an annual burden of about $970 to cover the costs of the state’s illegal alien population.
    •Illegal aliens pay relatively little in taxes because of their low earnings and work in the underground economy. We estimate they pay about $203 million in state and local taxes — 7.4 percent of the estimated burden.

  4. john says:

    You hit the nail on the head Frank. Its the dirty little secret.
    Illegals flock to our state like its shangrala.
    They truly expect the tax payers to pay for food ,housing, healthcare and schooling for their many children. Now its gotten to the point where class sizes are out of hand and we the property owners and tax payers are being asked again to pony up to support an unsustainable fiscal model. Future requests for more money are inevitable with the lack of fiscal restraint and to support a policy the state cannot afford. Its no wonder that many parents who can afford it send their kids to private school.

    • Jennifer says:

      I can not believe this! You are blaming illegal immigrants for overcrowding our schools. Are you wrong. First the district only planned for the grade school rebuilds at 95% which means inevitably we would be overcrowded. Also there is the fact that we are located next to a metropolitan city that has grown immensely in the last several years! I am offended by your comments. If you look at history unless your Native American we are all illegal.

      • Frank says:

        Check the demographics facts for yourself.

        • Frank says:

          What Others Are Saying about the Impact of Illegal Immigrant School Enrollment

          In many school districts across the nation, officials are unsure how they will deal with additional burdens expected by new illegal immigrant enrollees:
          • In Lynn, Massachusetts, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy, whose city schools already have experienced 600 new foreign-born admissions (including 126 known illegal immigrants) told the local Boston Fox network affiliate that “it’s gotten to the point where the school system is overwhelmed, our health department is overwhelmed, the city’s budget is being… altered in order of accommodate all of these admissions in the school department.”13 After her comments were published, over 100 people protested outside the mayor’s office, claiming she was making illegal immigrant children “scapegoats.”14

          •National Review Online reported that immigrant persons older than school age are seeking to enroll in the public schools in Lynn, Massachusetts. In one case, an enrollee was reported between 30-35 years old. A potential security risk arose when a foreign-born applicant used an arrest warrant as proof of identification. School officials report that adult foreign-born students created disruptions in the past by taking extended unexcused absences believed to be related to the acquisition of seasonal work.15

          •At least 2,200 new potential students have already arrived in Maryland, posing many questions to school administrators beyond where to put them. Frances Negron of the National School Board Association told USA Today: “We don’t know the[ir] educational background, if they’ve even been to school, the language issue and operational issues that could raise costs.”16

          • Miami-Dade County Public Schools reports spending $1,959 more per child for immigrant children and is reliant on community partnerships and emergency funding to deal with unexpected influxes of foreign students.17 It has already asked for more federal aid to meet expected demand (the district spent an average of $8,512 per student in 2012).18 An exact request for funding is virtually impossible because, as spokesman Daisy Gonzalez-Diego explained, “[w]e don’t know how many more are coming this upcoming school year because Central American children usually enroll just two or three weeks before the school year begins.”19

          • The Federation for American Immigration Reform estimated that the 2014 fiscal burden of illegal immigration on California taxpayers related to education is $12.3 billion for children in K-12 schools.20 With regard to California’s expenses for illegal immigrant children and children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents, Lance T. Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute, wrote: “No one can deny that increasing numbers of children of illegal immigrants attend public schools in the United States and that U.S. taxpayers pay the costs. Those sympathetic to illegal immigration tend to remain silent about these costs, while illegal-immigration opponents often fall short on specifics. In the interest of more informed discourse, here are the numbers… The actual cost of schooling these children could be higher because many education dollars are earmarked for special purposes. At the federal level, Title I funds are sent to schools to support disadvantaged children, which benefits many children of illegal immigrants. In California, the state’s Economic Impact Aid program provides tax dollars to fund English-language acquisition, which aids children of illegal immigrants. Capital costs for school construction may have increased at a higher rate because of the influx of children of illegal immigrants.”21

          • Delaware Governor Jack Markell (D) said on July 24 that there were already at least 117 illegal immigrant children relocated to that state, but that the federal government will not release any information on their locations. In Delaware’s Indian River School District, Sussex Central High School had 70 new students enroll last year who did not speak English, something that principal Jay Owens told DelmarvaNow followed “no rhyme or reason, we just saw an influx.” School districts there get their funding based on student enrollment as of September 30, and IRSD board member Donald Hattier worried, “This is going to cost us an arm and a leg… I think they’re going to load us up.”22

      • John says:

        Illegal immigrants children are a major factor in overcrowding in our classrooms..
        Do the research this is easily confirmed.. Read Franks post. I frankly cannot afford to pay for the housing clothing feeding and schooling of the ever increasing number of illegal immigrants in King County. Its NOT sustainable and it not fair that property owners are being expected to pay the bill, ESPECIALLY with no fiscal controls like the current bond we just voted on. If the NO on Prop 1 had anywhere near the funding that YES on prop 1 had and the details about it were more widely publicized I doubt it would have even gotten 50% approval.

  5. Loren says:

    We live in a deep, deep blue county in a red state. We are going down with the ship. The stats are out there for everybody to see. Low cost labor comes at a huge cost.

    • John says:

      The irony is that the potentially lower labor costs are basically offset by the highest minimum wage in the country. That’s another reason that illegals are drawn to King County, like bees to honey.

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