District responds to failed bond vote

Heather Baker | staff writer

By a margin of 69 votes, the USD 329 bond issue failed.

In its second attempt to pass a bond since 2020, the $17.9 million bond failed by 4 percent, 948-879.

The results varied across the district. In Alma 74 percent of the 569 votes were in favor of the bond. In Maple Hill only 22 percent of the 445 votes were in favor. In Paxico 30 percent of the 374 votes were in favor. 

The 2020 bond failed by nearly 15 percent, with Alma voting in favor a little over 50 percent, Maple hill voting 25 percent in favor and Paxico voting 44 percent in favor.

When Superintendent Troy Pitsch was asked about what is going to happen with the school, he replied “USD 329 is the same district as it was 24 hours ago, we are still great, we should be proud of everything we do.” 

Pitsch said that despite this drawback, he expects USD 329 to come back swinging. “We put a plan up for the community to determine, they made their decision, now we go back to the drawing board and create another plan. Ideally to put up for election as soon as possible.”

In an email message to the district last week, Pitsch urged patrons to keep dedication to students and outcomes in mind as they move forward. “It is okay, as family members, not to agree on everything. I am genuinely grateful for the election process and the opportunity to understand more fully the wants and needs of the Charger Nation members.”

At its meeting on Monday night, the board discussed the future of the school and whether or not consolidation is the best move forward. They discussed the danger of eliminating programs and other financial challenges facing the district.

The board did consider that if it intends to put another bond option in front of voters, it would be ideal to do it in April so they can approach the 2023-24 school year with information from the results.

Voting By Precinct

Alma: 442 Yes, 147 No

Alta Vista: 8 Yes, 11 No

Farmer: 41 Yes, 21 No

Kaw: 2 Yes, 13 No

Maple Hill: 101 Yes, 344 No

Hessdale: 18 Yes, 19 No

Keene: 3 Yes, 5 No

McFarland: 95 Yes, 64 No

Newbury: 113 Yes, 261 No

Chalk: 0 Yes, 3 No

Wabaunsee: 47 Yes, 38 No

Washington: 28 Yes, 22 No

Total: 879 Yes, 948 No

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