The Puyallup School District will not re-run a bond measure this spring.
The elected board of Pierce County’s second-largest school district met in a special session this morning and took no action, meaning there’s no chance a bond package could return for the next available election on April 23.
A $279.6 million bond failed on last month’s ballot despite winning 55.5 percent of the vote because a 60-percent supermajority is
required for school bonds.
Now comes the work of determining how to bridge that gap or devise a different game plan for the district and its more than 20,000
“The majority of us felt it wasn’t prudent to pursue the bond in April,” said Board President Chris Ihrig. “We felt like the voters spoke, and we want to spend the next several months getting into conversations with the community and really find out which parts they
were supporting and which parts were creating some angst.”
The next election would be in August, but Ihrig said he’s concerned about going back to voters during summer vacation season. That leaves the crowded general election ballot in November or waiting until next February, when the district is already set to ask voters to
re-authorize the operating levy.
February would also mark an even 10 years since the last time Puyallup voters approved a school bond, Ihrig noted. “At some point, we will be running something,” he said.
The Feb. 12 bond proposal sought added capacity at three high schools, a new elementary school in the growing southwest part of the district and replacement or expansion of three other elementary schools.
The district estimated the package would have cost the owner of a $200,000 home about $148 more per year.
The final results, which were officially certified this week, showed 14,679 voters favored the bond while 11,774 opposed it.
Meanwhile, Tacoma’s $500 million bond measure won easy passage with nearly 70 percent of the vote – 27,935 yes ballots compared to 11,570 no ballots, according to the certified results.