Shawnee Mission bond issue, local option budget questions get more than 80 percent approval in mail ballot

Ballots began arriving in the mail on Wednesday.
Voting was by mail for the Shawnee Mission bond issue and local option budget questions.

Voters in the Shawnee Mission School District overwhelmingly voted to approve both a $223 million bond issue and maintaining the local option budget at its current 33 percent level.

Approximately 83 percent of those voting in Shawnee Mission approved of maintaining the LOB level and 80.5 percent voted in favor of the bond issue. About 30 percent of eligible voters returned ballots. The Johnson County Election Office issued 139,485 ballots to registered voters in the district. The bond issue received 34,218 votes in favor and 8,253 votes in opposition. On the LOB question, 35,197 voted for maintaining the 33 percent level and 7,213 voted against the measure.

“I am thankful to the Shawnee Mission community for their support of these important initiatives,” said Jim Hinson, superintendent. “The opportunity to plan facilities and instructional spaces to support the district’s comprehensive educational programs is essential. Through their support, voters have signaled the value they place on education and validated the importance of keeping their schools strong.”

The vote on both the bond issue and the LOB had been combined into one mail ballot for the district. An LOB question also had been mailed to voters in Blue Valley, DeSoto, Olathe and the Gardner-Egderton districts, creating an unprecedented number of mail ballots to be processed. The LOB question passed in each district with 80.1 percent approval in Blue Valley, 80.8 percent in DeSoto, 79.2 percent in Olathe and 60.1 percent in Gardner-Edgerton.

The bond issue proceeds in Shawnee Mission will be used for security improvements at a number of schools, to rebuild five elementary schools, to provide more technology upgrades and add a district aquatic center among other improvements. The LOB allows districts to raise money locally beyond their state aid. The additional funds are capped at additional 33 percent of the budget.

The last bond issue was passed by Shawnee Mission voters in 2004 with slightly more than a 68 percent approval.