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Ferndale School District sign outside the administration building on Vista Drive (October 22, 2016). Photo: My Ferndale News

Ferndale School District concedes levy failed with voters

FERNDALE, Wash. — Officials with the Ferndale School District issued the following statement this afternoon, February 12th, the day after initial ballots counts showed the $15,360,000-per-year 4-year levy proposal failing with 57.5% of 7,561 ballots counted voting against the proposal.


The decision if and when the District will bring another levy proposal back to the voters will be decided by the Ferndale School Board at one of their future meetings.

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  1. Patricia Smith Patricia Smith February 12, 2020

    I am 71-years-old and live on a very small fixed income but I still voted FOR the levy because education is vitally important for our children. I understand that times are tough, but gosh, people, think about what is going to happen to our children, teachers, and our schools now. We could have locked in this rate for four years. Why did people vote against this and elect to pull the rug from under our public schools? I would love to hear some feedback. If the rest of Whatcom county voters can find it in their hearts to support their local schools with tax dollars, why couldn’t we?

  2. Arnold Evanson Arnold Evanson February 12, 2020


    Maybe send another request with a Levy between 1-1.5% and we might VOTE YES!

    Ferndale property valuation has INCREASED DRAMATICALLY (upwards of 50% and more in many neighborhoods) in the last 4years, which means our property taxes ALSO INCREASED SIGNIFICANTLY.

    THAT’S ALLOT MORE MONEY coming out of our pockets and I’m sure the school is getting additional funds thru this.

    A 2.5% Levy is simply WAY TOO MUCH right now.

    Lastly, based on my understanding, the vast majority of those purposed Levy funds were to intended for ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES & STAFF, and NOT A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT went directly for the kid’s educationed programs. We can do better folks!

    We CANNOT AFFORD to pay more to the adults when we’re tightening our own family’s budgets due to increased property taxes from to dramatic rises in home values.

    • Jennifer Newbauer Jennifer Newbauer February 12, 2020

      But doesn’t increasing the amount of staff directly benefit students? Classrooms are overcrowded which leads to basic content needs not being able to be met. Just something to consider🤷‍♀️

    • Dan Hallock Dan Hallock February 12, 2020

      Voters approved a $3.70 levy rate in 2016; both the $1.50 (what they thought they’d be limited to) and the $2.50 (after the state legislature made corrections) are imposed statewide caps. This is going to result in a 13% cut in their budget. The other districts in the county passed their levies just fine. The idea that $2.50 is crazy high or greedy just isn’t reality.

      • Aron Thompson Aron Thompson February 12, 2020

        Interesting that you neglect to mention the pile of promises we were made just a short while ago, and how quickly those promises were broken just as soon as they could grab for even more cash. Anybody who wants to surrender more money to the school district can write a charitable check immediately; and, if you insist on never ending tax hikes, you can choose not to take the optional tax deduction. What’s stopping you?

  3. Aron Thompson Aron Thompson February 12, 2020

    Somehow the previous lower amount was going to be great, but now the sky is falling because the massive additional amount has been denied. In reading their Statement it is unfortunately clear that they haven’t gotten the message from Voters and they act as if some grave harm has been done to them. This was education funding taken to the point of greed and at the expense of affordability in Ferndale.

  4. Dan Hallock Dan Hallock February 12, 2020

    What a disappointment, and a betrayal of our kids. Being the only district in the county whose voters won’t fund their schools is a mark of shame.

  5. Tom Hansen Tom Hansen February 12, 2020

    Maybe they maintain schools such as north BELLINGHAM elementary, what an eyesore! They need to reopen it as an elementary school! Look what the north BELLINGHAM precincts voted! Wake up Ferndale school district!

  6. Chantelle Hilsinger Chantelle Hilsinger February 12, 2020

    My property taxes went up over $700.00 this year. That means I have to cut $60 out of my monthly budget to pay for the increased property taxes. It sucks but I have to live within a balanced budget. Ferndale School District doesn’t seem to understand this concept. They need to go over their budget with a fine tooth comb and come back with a more reasonable levy ask of 1 or 1.50. Doing that would show the taxpayers that they understand that our tax dollars aren’t a never ending well for them to continuously tap into.

    • Aron Thompson Aron Thompson February 12, 2020

      Very well put. Add to that the fact that the City of Ferndale green lights basically every building and development project that comes their way and what do we get? A huge amount of fresh tax-paying properties sending revenues into the coffers, along with the big bump in tax-assessed values for everybody. Plus skyrocketing utility rates. Ferndale is becoming unaffordable for far too many hard working long time residents who struggle to make economic ends meet.

  7. Arnold Evanson Arnold Evanson February 12, 2020


    My comment was almost EXACTLY what you said.

    They’re already got budget funding increases if they just left it at the same rate because home values are increasing dramatically. THEY GOT TOO GREEDY! WE SAID NO!

  8. Wynne Lee Wynne Lee February 12, 2020

    Someone in FSD needs to explain the rather strange and poorly understood relationship between property values and tax rates. It’s definitely NOT so simple as ‘tax levy rates and income increase proportionally with increase property evaluations’ due to WA state tax laws. Way too complex for a comment. Maybe MyFerndale can find someone to write an explanation?

  9. Michelle Johnson Michelle Johnson February 14, 2020

    The real mark of shame is attempting to subvert our voting rights by someone who does not live and vote in the Ferndale School District. Respectful, factual analysis, not shaming, will resolve this issue without the input from outsiders who only wish to agitate. Bullying and attacking a decision by the majority of voters, accusing us of betrayal of our children, is neither welcome nor helpful; it will not change minds and only serves to alienate. And just for the record, Ferndale Schools have always been and will be fully funded; it is just a matter of how much is really needed, not wanted, in the coming years.

    • Aron Thompson Aron Thompson February 14, 2020

      Very well put Michelle.

    • Dan Hallock Dan Hallock February 14, 2020

      I assume it’s me you’re talking about, based on the phrases you used, but for what it’s worth I do live and vote in the Ferndale School District. (Though in my current somewhat transitional situation I pay property taxes in Bellingham and rent in Ferndale; I’d like to buy in this neighborhood once the old place is sold but we’ll see what the future holds.)

      Expressing disappointment in the results isn’t “subverting voting rights.” I’m unhappy with the choice but did you see me, or anyone in these comments, asking to disenfranchise anyone?

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