There are some very positive aspects to growth in our greater Puyallup community. As more families arrive, there are a growing number of patrons who shop in our stores, buy cars, purchase homes, and keep the economic future of Puyallup vibrant. Many families locating in our community have school-age children and cite the quality of Puyallup schools as one of their primary reasons for moving to the area. The Puyallup School District is a proud partner in our community. The district contributes more than $200 million to the local community annually and employs more than 3,000 people in full- and part-time jobs. We take pride that our school district facilities are heavily used by outside groups in Pierce County and are the underpinning of recreational programs in the cities of Puyallup and Edgewood. The school board and the district have worked diligently to be good stewards of the funds that the community has provided through school bond and levy elections.
The board has been clear that as we move forward, our direction will include maximizing the use of our existing school sites. For example, the district will continue to serve students at its three comprehensive high schools rather than potentially building and operating a fourth. A Citizens Bond Planning Committee has been working the past year to identify facility needs districtwide, taking into account how to maximize the use of state matching funds from voter-approved bond measures. After working our way through the recession and adjusting to growth the past 11 years by using temporary instructional spaces (at 232, Puyallup has among the most temporary classrooms and support spaces in the state), the district is simply out of instructional space at our elementary schools. In a very short number of years, this impact will also be felt at our junior high and high schools. Presently there are more than 1,000 homes under construction or in the final stages of development in our district. This will apply even greater pressure to our existing school facilities.
The district has been diligent in planning and projecting the need for additional educational space. Very simply, the need is now upon us. The district has proposed school bond measures to address these needs four times since 2007, yet all fell short of the supermajority of
votes required for passage. I encourage each of our citizens to become informed about the rapid growth in our schools and measures being taken to address overcrowding. Great communities have great schools. It is in all of our interest to be well informed about the issues that have the potential to impact the long-term future of the wonderful community in which we live. Thank you for taking the time
to be informed, and we are very willing to answer any questions. A special email address has been set up to respond to questions about growth. We welcome your comments at: firstname.lastname@example.org.