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Year-round school? Redrawn boundaries? Bethel looks ahead after likely bond failure

SPANAWAY - The Bethel School District was hoping a $443 million dollar bond would pass, but election results show it at 53% approval the day after the election failing to meet the 60% majority needed.

The school district says it’s unlikely when all the votes are counted they’ll reach that 60% and that will likely mean the possibility of year-round schools becomes more realistic now.

Superintendent of the Bethel School District, Tom Siegel has been eyeing the Pierce County Election results, "This bond probably did not pass,” he said.

The fall-out from not passing this $443 million dollar bond now means they’re looking at redrawing boundaries to ease overcrowding and shifting to a year-round school schedule.

"There will be disruptions. It’ll hurt kid’s opportunities for sports, potentially scholarships it’ll hurt our ability to transport kids, we have about 20,000 kids and we transport 15,000," said Seigel.

He says there will be a series of issues families will have to brace for. "Absolutely it’s going to fall on families,” said Seigel.

Families like Kim Price, who has 6 kids in the district.

“I was holding out hope it’d pass,” said Price.

Price says she sits on the committees for year-round schools and one on redrawing the boundaries for the district. She says the consequences of the bond failing could be more broad than people realize.

“It’s going to affect those who do sports, year rounds schools-what if you’re not on the same track system, and I have a feeling values of properties are going to down, because no one is going to want to go to year-round schools. We’re one of the largest districts in the state and we’re going to be the only one who will have a year-round school schedule,” said Price.

For now, while the district irons out details for redrawing boundaries and year-round schools, price says all she can do is plan ahead.

“I will just take it one day at a time. I’m not happy about it, but I can’t change it by myself,” said Price.

Seigel says the boundary changes will happen next school year and year-round schools will likely take effect in 2021.

This same bond measure was put to a vote in February and failed. The Bethel school district doesn’t have a successful history of passing bonds, since 1980, 20 bond measures have been put to a vote, only four have passed.