Both questions on Tuesday's ballot to increase the Kenyon-Wanamingo schools' operating levy failed.
The first question, which sought to revoke the existing operating levy and replace it with a higher per pupil levy, garnered the support of 42% of voters. The second question, an additional levy authorization that was contingent on approval of the first question, was favored by 39% of voters.
Question 1 asked to revoke the existing referendum revenue authorization and approve new authorization. The existing referendum revenue authorization is $295.68 per pupil, which will be replaced with the new authorization of $460 per pupil.
Yes = 378 (42%)
No = 515 (58%)
Question 2 asked voters to approve additional school district referendum revenue authorization. The board has proposed to increase its general education revenue by $300 per pupil.
Yes = 342 (39%)
No = 551 (61%)
The initial goal of the district was to take advantage of the extra funding available to school districts due to legislative changes since the first levy was put in place, while staying in front of potential cuts. Although the operating levy did not pass, Superintendent Jeff Pesta focuses on the silver lining of the election.
“It’s disappointing, but it just changes our direction from being proactive to reactive,” said Pesta. “It’s also very valuable moving forward, because we can use the election as a survey to plan for the next steps.”
The current operating levy is set to expire in two years. Throughout the next couple of weeks, the School Board will discuss how they will move forward as they enter the planning stages.
Pesta is thankful for a great voter turnout, especially since it was an off-year election.
“Thank you to all of the K-W residents who participated in the election process Tuesday,” Pesta wrote on a social media post. “ The results are very informative for the next phase of district strategic planning.”
The School Board will meet Nov. 12 to canvass the election and process the information derived from the results to start making a plan on the funds that are available. They will start drafting a new budget for the next fiscal year this coming December.