DALLAS — Bond proposals saw mixed results in Kansas school district elections May 6.
Residents in the Holton school district near Topeka approved $21.5 million for a new elementary school by 55% of the 1,960 votes cast. The district, known officially as Jackson County Unified School District No. 336, saw two bond proposals fail in the last 12 years, so administrators expressed surprise at the easy win.
The district issued $1.7 million of certificates of participation in 2012 with ratings of A3 from Moody's Investors Service.
After several years of declining enrollment, the district's head count stabilized in 2012 at 1,174 students, according to Moody's.
In Crawford County in Southeast Kansas voters approved $16 million to rebuild an elementary school, repair and replace heating and air conditioning equipment and renovate other facilities, including the bus barn, high school and middle school.
Crawford County's Northeast Unified School District No. 246 issued $2.89 million of bonds in 2011 with an A rating and stable outlook from Standard & Poor's.
Voters in the Lyndon School District, also near Topeka, opposed issuing $12.3 million of bonds for new classrooms, a parking lot, football field and storm shelter by a more than three-to-one margin.
With a population of 1,052, Lyndon is the county seat of Osage County, Kan.
On April 1, voters in the Shawnee County Unified School District No. 501 serving Topeka approved $143 million of bonds for a new elementary school, tornado shelters, classroom technology, a career learning center and other projects.
Since 2000, outstanding Kansas school bond debt rose steadily to a peak of $4.55 billion in 2011, falling to $4.4 billion in 2013, according to the Kansas Department of Education.