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Woodland school levy passing in early returns

First returns Tuesday night showed the Woodland Public Schools levy passing with a comfortable margin.

The three-year levy was passing with 54.35 percent approval from the 3,987 voters who cast ballots, according to the Clark and Cowlitz County elections offices.

The replacement levy will generate $5.4 million in revenue in 2021, $5.75 million in 2022 and $6.1 million in 2023 to help cover the cost of staff and school programs.

The same measure failed in February with 55.22 percent rejecting it, prompting the district to sound the alarm over potential budget cuts in the coming school years. A district news release issued this month projected $3 million in cuts from the district’s roughly $40 million budget in 2020-2021. The school board identified a slate of programs and nearly 50 employees whose jobs would be eliminated if the levy failed.

The Ridgefield School District bond was initially slated to appear on this month’s ballot, but district officials withdrew the measure due to concerns over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The crisis, however, did not appear to hamper election turnout; 41.94 percent of ballots were returned in Clark County and 50.45 percent in Cowlitz County. In the April 2019 election, 45.6 percent of Clark County voters cast their ballots. Cowlitz County didn’t have an election that month.

Additional election returns are expected Wednesday.



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