Statement from Superintendent: Election Results
February 16, 2023
Unfortunately, our school bond measure that would have replaced three aging schools and enhanced safety for all of our schools failed to meet the supermajority threshold of 60 percent approval.
While we are disappointed in the outcome, we had more people than ever come out and support this bond and our vision for the future of our community as #OneOakHarbor. This positive energy and spirit in our community will keep us going as we determine our next steps.
As we look to the future, there are several critical points that our community will need to work together to address:
Safety is a heightened priority in our community. Building a secure single point of entry for all of our schools requires substantial funding.
The aging infrastructure and overcrowding of our elementary schools. These schools will only continue to depreciate in time and will cost more to replace. The costs associated with constantly fixing and maintaining our buildings will continue to drain our resources and funds that could go towards improving student learning outcomes.
The real possibility of losing the 80 percent Department of Defense matching funds ($109 million) to replace Crescent Harbor & Hand-in-Hand/HomeConnection. If we cannot get 60 percent approval for a bond, these funds will go to another community in need that is willing to provide the remaining 20 percent. Without this critical funding, the cost on our community becomes much greater.
The lack of voter turnout in important local elections that impact our schools. The current overall voter turnout is 35 percent, with 39 percent of eligible parents voting and 74 percent of eligible staff voting.
Our school board will be faced with a difficult decision on the next steps we take as a school district. We cannot give up on our students. We will continue to shake the trees, engage in critical conversations and confront misconceptions within our community about bonds, school governance, and embrace those who have rolled up their sleeves to help us with the heavy lifting. I want to personally thank all of you who gave up weekends, faced the weather, placed signs, banners, adorned swag, buttons and bumper stickers, and worked tirelessly for this bond.
I am eternally grateful. We cannot do this alone. We are one community, #OneOakHarbor.
Superintendent Oak Harbor Public Schools