How can I learn more? FAQ

Visit this PSD School Bond Election webpage often. Watch for clarifying information and additional responses to “Frequently Asked Questions.”

If you have a question, please contact the district via email at communications@puyallup.k12.wa.us


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The following are some frequently asked questions about the proposed $273 million school bond measure that will appear on the November 5, 2019 Special Election ballot.


What is a school bond?

A bond pays for capital projects such as new school construction, renovation, replacement, and other school improvements. The last voter-approved school bond in 2015, for example, paid for construction of the new Dessie F. Evans Elementary, rebuilding of Firgrove, Sunrise, and Northwood elementary schools on site, and a remodel of Pope Elementary.

What are the projects on the November 5, 2019 school bond proposal?

If approved, the district shall make the following capital improvements:

Puyallup High School

  • • Improve student safety and security by enclosing spaces between buildings.
  • • Add 126,000 square feet of additional capacity to accommodate up to 2,000 students.
  • • Make program improvements for Career and Technical Education, Special Education, science, general education classrooms, and other instructional spaces at Puyallup High School.

Rogers High School

    • Improve student safety and security by enclosing spaces between buildings.
    • Add 71,000 square feet of additional capacity to accommodate up to 2,000 students.

Emerald Ridge High School

    • Improve student safety and security by constructing and equipping a 61,000 square foot addition for capacity to accommodate up to 1,800 students.
    • Make program improvements for Career and Technical Education.
    • Expand the commons and construct a new library.

Walker High School

    • Improve student safety and security by enclosing spaces between buildings.
    • Add 18,500 square feet of additional capacity.
    • Make program improvements for Career and Technical Education, science, library, a new commons, vestibule entrance, and covered health fitness area.
    • Make program improvements for Special Education, Career and Technical Education, science, general education classrooms, and other instructional spaces.

When will the projects be completed?

Emerald Ridge and Walker High School are scheduled for completion by September 2022. Puyallup and Rogers are scheduled for completion in September 2023.

How is a school bond different from a school levy?

A supplemental school levy helps fund daily operations that are not funded by the State. The levy funds may include classroom teachers, instructional aides, nurses, textbooks and learning materials, reasonable class sizes, support technology arts, music, athletics, maintain school playground and playfields, heating, plumbing, health, safety, fire-alarm, and security systems.

Why does the school district need a school bond election now?

Puyallup School District considers student safety and security as its highest responsibility. The district currently maintains three comprehensive high schools and one alternative high school that are overcrowded, experiencing growth, have aging infrastructure, and need modernization and improved security.

What are the election requirements?

The bond requires a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Voter turnout must be at least 40 percent of the previous general election.


What is the cost?

If the new bonds are approved by voters, the 2020 estimated tax rate would increase by 37 cents. However, because the existing bonds are being reduced, the total bonds tax rate would decrease from $2.75 to $2.44 which is a difference of -31 cents.

If the bonds are approved, the total tax rate in 2020 (including bonds and levies) is estimated to increase from $4.31 to $4.35 per $1,000 of assessed valuation which is a difference of 4 cents. The owner of a home valued at $300,000, for example, would pay about $1,305 per year in school property taxes, or $108.75 per month.

Year

Existing Bonds

New Bonds

Total Bonds

Capital Levy

Technology Levy

Operating Levy

Total Tax Rates

2017

2.07

-

2.07

-

0.07

3.79

5.93

2018

1.62

-

1.62

-

0.06

3.49

5.17

2019

2.75

-

2.75

-

0.06

1.50

4.31

2020

2.07

0.37

2.44

-

0.06

1.85

4.35

Are some residents eligible for tax exemptions?

Yes. This program is available to citizens who are at least 61 years old on December 31 of the year they apply or retired from regular gainful employment by reason of a disability, with an income of $40,000 or less. Exemptions must be renewed once every six years unless there is a change in status or income. Proof of income is required in addition to the information requested on the application form. Proof of disability is also required. The Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's Office administers this program. Applications are available online or by contacting the Senior Citizen and Disabled Person Exemption Department hotline at (253) 798-2169 or may be picked up at the Pierce County Assessor-Treasurer's Office.

How can I learn more? Where can I get other questions answered?

The district has set up an email address especially for questions about the proposed school levy. Send questions to communications@puyallup.k12.wa.us.