A Selah School District levy request continued to fall short of passing Wednesday as more ballots were counted.
The district’s levy garnered 47.09% approval as of Wednesday, up slightly from 46.68% on Tuesday, the night of the special election. The vote was 2,028 yes and 2,279 no.
School operations levies require a simple majority to pass, or 50% plus one.
Election results in the East Valley and Granger school districts held steady, and are passing.
East Valley’s approval rate grew slightly overnight from 54.68% Tuesday to 55.31% Wednesday. Approval in Granger grew slightly to 68.79%.
All three measures were renewals of existing local school operations levies.
Operations levies used to be called maintenance and operations levies. They’re used to fund programs beyond basic education, such as athletics, art and music, technology instruction and special education. Each district said ahead of the election that essential enrichment programs would be cut or reduced without the fund renewal.
In Selah, the local funds matched with state funds would have accounted for 12% of the school’s budget for two years, beginning in 2022.
Selah Superintendent Shane Backlund said Tuesday night that additional votes trickling in from drop boxes and by mail were unlikely to push the measure over the threshold to passing. The school board is likely to discuss putting the measure on a ballot a second time this year if the first fails, he said, noting a study session is scheduled Thursday morning.
In a second attempt, more emphasis would be placed on the importance of the funds, Backlund said, which fully fund athletics and technology, as well as supporting things like campus security and curriculum.
As of Wednesday, turnout was 32.57%, according to the Yakima County Auditor’s office. More ballots will be counted in coming days, with results certified Feb. 19.