Superintendent’s Message: A Capital Bond

I am pleased to share that last night, the Lynden School Board voted to place a Capital Projects Bond on the Feb. 13, 2024 ballot, alongside a renewal of our EP&O levy. These two funding measures will work together to ensure all students have access to programs and safe learning spaces that meet their learning needs. This decision was informed by the work of three citizen committees and a series of school board meetings which included public comment. I want to thank the members of this community who have invested their time, became informed, and were willing to engage productively in the process. There will continue to be opportunities and Lynden Schools is committed to providing information as part of an open and transparent process.

The two measures on the Feb. 13, 2024 ballot will include:

  • Renewal of the Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy would continue funding for day-to-day operations and academic and instructional supports including preschool and extended day programs, and highly capable and multilingual classes. The EP&O helps us maintain safe and secure learning environments by funding a mental health counselor for the district, nursing services staff, and a Dean of Students at all of our elementary schools. The EP&O renewal will also continue to support athletics and extracurricular activities, as well as the broad offerings of elective classes for students.
  • Approval of a Capital Projects Bond would ensure every student has access to space that meets their learning needs and access to courses that prepare them for success after graduation. School construction funding would allow us to address our highest safety and capacity needs:
  • Rebuilding Lynden High School would allow for a more functional building with the capacity to serve 1200 students. Designing and adding purpose-built learning spaces increases connection, enriches our current programs, and would provide students with college and career-ready skills for success after graduation. If passed, the target open date would be at the beginning of the 2027-2028 school year. 
  • Adding permanent classrooms and expanding shared spaces at Isom Elementary and Vossbeck Elementary would reduce our dependency on portables and set us up to meet growth projections through 2038. We’d also update the heating and ventilation systems.
  • Funding would also allow us to install cooling and air circulation units at Fisher Elementary School and Lynden Middle School. 

The estimated cost of the Capital Projects Bond is projected to be an increase to tax rates of $1.37 per $1,000 of assessed property value or approximately $57.25 per month for a property owner with $500,000 in assessed value. This would generate $157,500,000 in funding. Passage of the bond would also generate an additional $22 million in ‘matching’ construction funding from the state. 

School districts in the state of Washington receive funding from local, state, and federal levels. However, the state does not fully fund education. That is why districts like ours rely on local property taxes to bridge the funding gap. 

I fully recognize the significance of this ‘big ask’ and realize initial communications may surface more questions than provide answers. My commitment is to use the time between now and February to provide more detailed information and respond to the questions that will surely surface among our citizens. In the next couple of weeks and months, we will be meeting with community members to share information about the measures and how they support our students. By working in partnership, we can ensure our students and schools continue to have access to safe and updated learning spaces that meet their needs. In the meantime, please take a moment and learn more about the measures at our Bonds & Levies – Lynden School District ( website. 

— David VanderYacht, Lynden Schools superintendent