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Voters approve Bremerton schools levy renewal

Bremerton voters overwhelmingly approved a levy renewal in Tuesday's special election, with more than 63 percent voting "yes," according to preliminary results.

Superintendent Lester "Flip" Herndon said the vote reduces the variables for district budget writers when crafting a spending plan for next year.

"Now that those things are getting worked out the really difficult decisions will happen," he said, adding cuts are likely coming despite the success of the levy renewal.

With the state Legislature struggling to fill a $2.6 billion budget hole, districts are bracing for a dip in state dollars. Herndon said officials also are waiting on enrollment projections before they will know where further cuts will come from, and how deep they will go.

"At some point if you reduce programs too much, they lose their effectiveness," Herndon said, noting the district cut into elementary education last year, with reductions to physical education, libraries and music, as those programs are not funded by the state.

About 63.5 percent of voters voted "yes," or 4,746 votes, according to Kitsap County Auditor's Office numbers released after the first round of counting.

About 36.6 percent voted "no," or 2,734 votes.

Bremerton Patriot Editor Andrew Binion contributed to this report.

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