School district plans next step after millage failure

School district plans next step after millage failure

GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A proposed four-mill increase for the Greene County Tech School District failed by a large margin Tuesday, according to the Greene County Clerk's office.

In unofficial numbers, the vote failed by an 838-462 margin.

Earlier this year, district officials said they were hoping to cut back on staff reduction after passing a resolution for a millage increase that would help their operations and maintenance.

Superintendent Gene Weeks said earlier this year that the millage resolution was for a four-mill increase.

"The need is that the last two years, and upcoming two years, the state has cut back on cost of living for the schools in the state," said Weeks. "Traditionally we would get around a 2% cost of living but last year and the next two will be down to a 1% cost of living."

Weeks said with the millage, the district would have been able to replace that cut in costs of living.

"It is hard for schools with rising expectations, salaries going up, and maintenance on all of our facilities so it is hard to make budgets meet with a 1% cost of living," said Weeks. "Even with a 2%, we do not have much wiggle room so we would be able to benefit greatly off of the millage increase."

On Tuesday, Weeks said while district officials were disappointed in the results, they plan to regroup and move forward.

Weeks said the last time a millage was passed was in 2007 when the new high school was being built.

He said they have been very fortunate over the past ten years because of that millage.

"This will be another chance for the next generation to benefit off of this millage," said Weeks. "This will help maintain a good quality of education and everything, so I hope our patrons will see that. It will be up to local schools if they want to maintain programs and so forth."

Weeks said the passing of this millage will go a long way in the future.

"Hopefully someday, I will have children that goes to Greene County Tech and that they will have the same opportunity that the young people today are getting to benefit from," said Weeks.

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