FAQs - Common Questions

When will the election be held?
The election is February 13, 2018.

With all of this growth and more coming, how is Northshore preparing for the future?
Over the past two years, parents, community members, and district staff have worked together to develop a long-term plan that makes sense for our community and its children. To support our plan to keep pace with development and enrollment increases, we will ask voters to consider three measures on the Feb. 13, 2018 ballot.

Proposition 1: Renewal Educational Programs & Operations Levy covers basic education costs and makes up 20 percent of the district budget. The levy ensures continued high-quality academics for all students, and also focuses on learners who need additional resources and interventions, including special education students, and struggling and advanced learners. The levy also funds the extra-curricular activities including music, drama, sports and clubs.

Proposition 2: Capital Projects Bond will add much needed capacity, easing overcrowding district wide, while also addressing equity issues. The bond provides for:

  • Safety and security updates across the district
  • A new K-5 school at the Maltby Road site
  • A new 30-classroom building on the Skyview Middle/Canyon Creek Elementary campus
  • A performing arts building at Inglemoor High School, to support both instruction and production
  • Safer student drop off zones and improved traffic flow/parking at Skyview Middle, Canyon Creek Elementary and Inglemoor High schools
  • Ongoing building repairs
  • Additional outdoor instructional and athletics spaces including tennis courts and playfields

Proposition 3: Renewal Tech Levy will provide technology access to every student in all grades, while teaching them to be safe and responsible digital citizens. The district will engage parents and the community to determine the implementation strategy for 1-to-1 access to devices, which could mean K-5 students always have access to a cart of devices in their room for spontaneous teaching moments and research and 6-12 students are assigned a device to take to classes. This levy includes assistive technology for students with special needs. It will also provide the important supports, including teacher training and parent input, to make this strategy a success. Improved district-to-family communications will also be funded.

Why are three measures on the ballot?
Running all three measures at once saves money. Voters are being asked to consider a bond and two renewal levies to support student learning in the Northshore School District.

  • Proposition 1, the Renewal Educational Programs and Operations Levy, provides 20 percent of the district's budget for daily operations and educational programs and renews an existing four-year levy.
  • Proposition 2, the Capital Projects Bond, continues the district's long-range facilities plan to improve and modernize aging facilities. It covers safety and security upgrades at every school, provides key infrastructure support for classroom learning spaces, and a solution to significant enrollment growth in the north end of the district.
  • Proposition 3, the Renewal Technology Levy, replaces an existing four-year levy to maintain and enhance school technology, including 1-to-1 access to computers/tablets for students, teacher technology training to support classroom learning and improved communications between the district and parents.

What is the difference between a bond and a levy?
The simplest way to remember is Bonds are for Building and Levies are for Learning.

Levy money is used to cover the costs of basic education, maintenance, operation and transportation costs not covered by the state. Levy money also provides for music, arts, drama, sports and clubs, which have long been the responsibility of local communities.

Bonds are a lot like the mortgage on a home, and can only be used for building, renovations and capital improvements. The Capital Projects Bond will be used to build a new K-5 school on the Maltby Road site, add a 30-classroom building at the Skyview Middle/Canyon Creek Elementary campus, add a new instructional performing arts building to Inglemoor High School, create safer student drop off zones and improved traffic flow/parking at Skyview Middle, Canyon Creek Elementary and Inglemoor High schools, and added outdoor instructional and athletic spaces. Every school will benefit from safety and security updates.

What is the timeline on these measures?
Resolutions were drafted using the recommendations of the task forces and advisory committee, based on their two years of work and study on the issues. Our School Board reviewed the resolutions on Sept. 25. The board had a second reading on Oct. 9, and approved the resolutions unanimously on October 23. The measures will go before voters in the Feb. 13, 2018 election.

What is the cost?

Proposition 1: Renewal Educational Programs & Operations Levy — $234 million

Proposition 2: Capital Projects Bond  — $275 million

Proposition 3: Renewal Technology Levy  — $62 million

What does this mean for Northshore homeowners?
Tax rates are based on the assessed property value of your home, which is expressed in the rate per every $1,000 of value. Current estimates actually reflect a slight decrease in in the Capital Projects Bond and EP&O Levy, and a slight increase in the Tech Levy.

For a house valued at $600,000, the recommended $234 million Education Programs and Operations Renewal Levy would cost a maximum of $1.82 per $1,000 in assessed valuation over next four years, or $1,158 per year. The $275 million Capital Projects Bond would cost $1.59 a month per $1,000, or $954 each year. The $62 million Technology Renewal Levy would cost taxpayers 48 cents per $1,000, or $288 annually. The district only collects up to the amount approved by voters regardless of assessed property valuation. These estimated figures do not take into consideration new homes being built or new commercial business being added to the tax rolls, which would result in decreased taxes for existing homeowners.

  Current Rate New Estimated Rate
Prop. 1: Renewal Educational Programs and 
Operations Levy
$1.93  $1.82
Prop. 2: Capital Projects Bond $1.78  $1.59
Prop. 3: Renewal Technology Levy $0.30 $0.48


Example using a home valued at $600,000

  • Prop. 1: Renewal Educational Programs & Operations Levy: $1,158
  • Prop. 2: Capital Projects Bond: $954
  • Prop. 3: Renewal Technology Levy: $288    

Why are the rates “estimated”?
In an election, voters are asked to approve or reject a total bond and/or levy amount. The tax rate is based on assessed property values. If the assessed property values change, then the tax rate changes.

What is assessed value?
The assessed value is the dollar value assigned to a property for purposes of measuring applicable taxes. Assessed valuation is used to determine the value of a residence for tax purposes and takes comparable home sales and inspections into consideration. Assessed property value is determined by the assessor’s office in your county.

If there are more people living in the district, won’t the district get more money?
No. When school districts run bond and levy measures, they request a set amount from local taxpayers. When more people move into a community, there are more taxpayers to share the cost. For example, if you buy a $10 pie alone, the cost to you is $10. If four people share the pie, each person only pays $2.50. The pie seller still gets $10. No matter how many people move to the district, the cost of the “pie” remains the same.

If assessed value goes up, does the district collect more money?
No. Voters approve a fixed collection amount that does not increase regardless of what happens to assessed value.

Why does the Renewal Educational Programs and Operations Levy amount increase each year?
The fixed collection amount approved by voters does not increase, however, like your household expenses, the district experiences the same cost increases and has designed the levy to increase to cover inflation. Most of the levy supports salaries and benefits for teachers and other support staff. Over time, it costs the district more to maintain the same level of service due to increases in other expenses (fuel, utilities, supplies, insurance, etc.) and cost of living adjustments for employees.

How were these plans developed?
This plan is a collaborative effort representing the hard work of parents, community members, teachers and district staff who served on three task forces and one advisory committee over the past two years. Parents, district staff, teachers, community members and students weighed in on these important decisions resulting in a road map for our schools that is truly community-driven and student focused. Northshore School District thanks these dedicated teams that have worked to build plans to meet the needs of our students today and into the future. To see more about the work these group did, visit the links below:

Capital Bond Planning Task Force

Enrollment Demographics Task Force

Technology Advisory Committee

Where can I get information about property tax exemptions for senior citizens and disabled persons?
State law provides two tax benefit programs for senior citizens and the disabled: property tax exemptions and property tax deferrals. For more information on if you might qualify, please contact your county assessor's office: King County, 206.296.3920 or Snohomish County, 425.388.3433.

What happens if the bond and/or levies do not pass?
If voters did not approve the bond and/or levies, the school board would make a decision on whether or not to re-run one, two or all of the measures. It is costly to re-run a measure.

The Educational Programs and Operations Renewal Levy provides 20 percent of the district’s budget for educational programs and operations and is set to expire at the end of 2018. Without this levy, the district would need to make significant cuts from its overall budget.

The Capital Bond would provide a longer-term solution to address enrollment growth in the north end by building a K-5 school on the Maltby Road site and a 30-classroom flexible use building the Skyview Middle and Canyon Creek Elementary campus. If the bond does not pass, we would have to look at other ways to try to ease overcrowding. If the bond does not pass, the district also cannot provide safety and security upgrades, repair/replace building infrastructure (roofs, HVAC and flooring).

If the tech levy doesn’t pass, the district can’t provide equitable access to computers/tablets for students in all grades or teacher training to ensure students are successfully using technology.

How can I get additional information on the bond and levies or request a presentation?
Please contact the Communications Department at 425.408.7670 or communications@nsd.org.