Preliminary results: Voters narrowly say ‘no’ to $73.9M school bond in Valley Center

Valley Center High School
Valley Center High School(KWCH)
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 3:52 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - With every ballot in, preliminary results from the Sedgwick County Election Office show the $73.9 million school bond issue in Valley Center Public Schools falling short of passage by less than 200 votes.

The preliminary count shows the “no” votes outnumbering “yes” votes, 2,159 to 1,983. Plans for the bond included a new elementary school, 20 classrooms added to the high school and multiple smaller additions across the district, including new special education offices and new facilities for pre-kindergarten and early childhood programs.

The proposed bond issue was the largest in the Valley school district’s history.

In response to the unofficial results, Valley Center Public Schools issued the following statement, attributed to USD 262 Superintendent Greg Lehr:

The Sedgwick County Election Commissioner has communicated that early, unofficial results are showing that the school bond issue has not passed. The unofficial count reported that 1,983 district patrons voted in favor of the bond issue, while 2,159 voted against it.

Those who live in the communities we serve have decided that now is not the time to move forward with additional classroom space and accommodations for every student.

While the bond did not pass, the needs remain. Because several USD 262 schools are at or over capacity with students and our district continues to grow, classroom space will have to be addressed. We will move into a phase of re-evaluation and determine what resources we have and what steps we can take to ensure our students have space to learn. Our Board of Education and USD 262 staff remain committed to providing the best opportunities for our students to succeed.

Thank you to those in our district who took part in the visioning, planning, coordination, and communication of the bond details. Planning for the future of the district began in the fall of 2022, and since that time, there have been many people in our district who have worked hard to present a plan for the future.