Thursday, January 11, 1990 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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New Math: New Students Plus New Schools Equals New Taxes


For Everett school officials, solving the population-boom puzzle is simple arithmetic.

Fourteen thousand students plus 6,000 more equals almost 100 million clams.

Voters will be staring at that price tag Feb. 6 when the Everett School District seeks approval of a $96 million measure to build an additional high school, another junior high school and the equivalent of two more elementary schools.

The measure, coupled with a two-year, maintenance and operations levy to replace a levy expiring this year, would bring Everett's total 1991 school-related tax bill - including all present and past levies and bonds - to about $6.31 per $1,000 assessed property value. That's about $631 a year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Over the next five to seven years, the bond money would buy:

-- The district's third 1,500-student high school, which would be built near the new Heatherwood Elementary, just north of Mill Creek.

-- A new middle school south of Silver Firs Elementary at 146th Place Southeast.

-- A new elementary school in the North Creek area at 168th and 35th avenues northeast.

-- Twenty-four new elementary classrooms scattered among five existing schools.

-- Remodeling of four elementary schools, Cascade and Everett high schools and North Middle School.

The 14,000-student district is expected to grow to 17,000 students by 1992 and to 20,000 by the year 2000. And that estimate doesn't account for dependents of sailors who might be based at the Navy's battle group home port at Port Gardner Bay.

``It's growing like mad,'' said district spokesman Chuck Patten. ``There's hardly anybody in the school business I've talked to who isn't experiencing growth - and most of it is tantamount to an explosion.''

The district uses 63 portable classrooms now, and schools still are overcrowded, he said.

``This is one (bond campaign) that we really need to make sure we do right.''

If they don't?

``Don't even ask that question,'' Patten said. ``The whole educational process is really at stake. This isn't optional.''

Also crucial to the district is its two-year levy, which will accompany the building measure but require a separate vote. The levy, the maximum allowed under state law, would raise about $11 million in 1991 and $12 million in 1992. It's a shade more than the two-year measure voters approved in 1988, Patten said.

Levy money pays for maintenance, extracurricular activities, special programs, teacher training and other items not included in the state's ``basic education'' budget.

For the measures to be approved, the Feb. 6 voter turnout must be equal to 40 percent of the turnout in November's general election, with 60 percent voting yes.

Copyright (c) 1990 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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