An official tally narrows the vote for more funding in a Tri-State school district, but it doesn't quite bring home the bacon. A tax increase in the Lakota school district lost by just five votes. More than 26,000 people voted.
When the election day tally two weeks ago showed a levy increase defeated by 29 votes, levy supporters were hopeful that outstanding ballots might turn their luck around - the vote came in closer, but not close enough. A vote this close means there's going to be a recount, so the fight for more funding is not over yet.
Lakota School District Spokesman Jon Weidlich tells Fox 19, "To get this close and not be able to respond to the kids who need teachers and not to be able to start building the classrooms that we need for all the students that are coming it's almost like you walk up to a window and you look in but you can't quite go to the other side."
Without the added revenue, the Lakota school district will have to cut about $5 million from next year's budget. Opponents say the school district should never have counted on that money without the tax increase in place.
Opposition leader Allen Baxter believes the school district squandered its resources and that the district should scale down to basic scholastics. According to Baxter, "We have thrown too much money at schools and enough is enough."
We may soon see who's right. Unless a recount gives them the votes they need, the school district will have to make due with less - in spite of a growing student body. According to Tuesday's tally: 13,182 people voted for the levy increase, 13,187 voted against it. The deadline for the recount is March 7th.